This activity helps learners to focus on the rhythm and intonation of spoken English. It helps with the pronunciation of individual words but also phrases and connected speech.  

For this activity learners need to be able to listen to a short text. It should be a monologue. It should be something they know well, or which is not too difficult to understand.  

You can do some comprehension work before the shadowing activity, but the main aim is pronunciation rather than comprehension. 

Learners should play a short piece of the audio and listen to the pronunciation, including the way the words are connected.  

Then, play the section again. This time, learners silently copy what they hear like a ‘shadow’ of what they are hearing.  

Learners listen again, but this time quietly say the words, like an ‘echo’ of what they are hearing. 

If learners need extra help they can read from a copied version of the text.  

As a final stage, learners can try to say the text without the audio playing.  

When they are saying the words without the audio they could record themselves. Then play back the recording and listen to their pronunciation. 


Comprehension: To understand something, e.g. a reading or listening text. 

Connected speech: In connected speech, the pronunciation of a word will change depending on the words around it. 

Intonation: The way the pitch of a speaker’s voice goes up or down as they speak. Intonation can be rising, falling or flat and is used to communicate how a speaker feels. 

Monologue: A talk by one person. 

Rhythm: A strong pattern of sounds and words.