For speakers of some languages in Sub-Saharan Africa the initial ‘h’ sound isn’t pronounced in some words. This means that words like ‘heat’ become ‘eat’.  

One possible solution is to get learners to whisper the words. Whispering the words makes it very difficult not to say the initial ‘h’ sound. 

Write the following words on the board: 

  • heat 
  • hill 
  • help 
  • happy 
  • hair 
  • hear 
  • how 
  • who  
  • whole 

Say: ‘On your own whisper these words.’ 

Next, put learners in pairs and say: ‘Whisper the words to your partner.’ 

Then say: ‘Now say the words slowly. Start by whispering the ‘h’ sound and then say the rest of the word at normal volume.’  

Finally, say: ‘Now say each word at the normal speed and normal volume.’ 


Volume: The level of sound. 

Whisper: To talk quietly (using your breath but not the voice).