Author: British Council | Published on 1 July 2022
Grouping activities can help learners notice and produce the word stress patterns in groups of words.
Learners often have problems with word stress. You can help learners notice stress by drawing simple circles above the words on the board, tapping on the desk and asking learners to group words with similar patterns.
Listen to the pronunciation of these countries:
Notice how many syllables each word has and which syllable is stressed.
Copy the table without the countries onto the board.
Write ‘Ghana’ in the first column. Model the pronunciation two or three times. You could also tap the table at the same time (hard, soft) to show there are two syllables and that the first one is stronger.
Repeat with ‘Sudan’, ‘Uganda’, ‘Zambia’, ‘South Africa’, ‘Cameroon’ and ‘Tanzania’.
Drill the countries: point, say, learners repeat. Make sure learners stress the correct syllable.
Ask learners to copy the table in their books. List the other countries on the board in random order. (You could list just some of the countries. Then at the end, ask learners if they can add any other countries to the table.)
Put learners in groups of three or four. Say: “Work together. Say the countries and write them in the correct column.”
Monitor and support. Do feedback on the board.
Note: You can reuse this type of activity with any other group of new words that your learners are studying: animals, furniture, sports, emotions and feelings, and so on.