Best ESL Pronunciation websites

Doing the DELTA has really given me an insight into the world of pronunciation. After reading Teaching English PronunciationEnglish Phonetics and Phonology, and more recently Sound Foundations by Adrian Underhill, I’ve taken a extra interest in integrating phonology and connected speech ideas into my classes. My students are having fun and I’m enjoying seeing the results.

Someone needs some phonemes!
After all this extra reading and researching, I’ve collected some useful ESL pronunciation websites. Here they are in no particular order.
Minimal Pairs
1) Minimal pairs is a great way for students to recognise and rectify common pronunciation problems. This website, ship or sheep, is blooming excellent. There’s a list of about 30 different minimal pairs along with sound and pictures.
2) This is an even more extensive list of minimal pairs of vowels, diphthongs, and consonants. Check out Minimal Pairs for English RP by John Higgins.
ESL Lesson ideas
4) This superteacher worksheet pdf on long and short vowels is excellent, in colour too.
5) I’ve used this phonetic word list on Montessorimom quite a bit to get lists of words to practise with students. You can do bingo games, get them to test each other with the pronunciation, dictate, or make up tongue twisters.
The phonetic chart
6) This interactive phonetic chart on the British council website is amazing. It’s got an app too so your students can download it and practise their pronunciation while you’re writing on the board or doing some photocopying…rather than checking out their facebook.
7) These phonemic chart keyboard and is excellent if you need to type up any symbols for your students, or if you’re doing the DELTA.
8) This is a decent article too about how to teaching pronunciation with phonemic symbols, again on teaching English.
Diphthongs
9) This useful pdf file on specialed.about.com on Diphthongs is great for doing pelmonism tasks, snap (photocopy it twice), or even dominoes.
Connected Speech
10) It’s taken me a while to my head round this, but I think I’ve cracked it. This article about connected speech on teachingEnglish.org helped clarify a few things. As did this one on Miguel Bengoa elt.
Weak forms
11) Have a look at this detailed list of weak form words along with phonetic script on scribd.
I’m sure there are plenty more ESL pronunciation websites and articles out there, so feel free to add to this list. If you haven’t seen them already then check out two other popular lists: Best ESL lesson plans websites, and Best ESL lesson plan websites for young learners. Hope that helps.

8 thoughts on “Best ESL Pronunciation websites

  1. Hi there Barry,

    Sorry the comment is not relevant to the article you posted but it was the most recent. I have been reading your blog for the last 30 minutes and have been fascinated by your adventures and kudos for making them down to earth and funny, made for better reading!

    I have literally just finished my CELTA at International House Language School in London and would love to head to Brazil next year and I have done some research and working with brazilians at IH, I love the culture, the music, ,everything. I don't however have any experience teaching yet apart from my CELTA.

    I'm afraid like any newbie to teaching abroad I have some questions.

    What is the best way to get a teaching job out in brazil? do you go for language schools or academies?
    should I just get the tourist visa – i'm not looking for standing longer than a couple of months?
    do I need to know business english to teach in sao paulo?
    how long had you been teaching for before going to brazil?
    any other advice?

    Ben

  2. Hi Ben,

    Sorry for the late reply, no worries for replying here. Thanks for the nice comments, at least someone thinks my stuff is funny…

    Brazil is a wicked choice, I would have stayed if it wasn´t for visas, plus I was on a world trip. Best way to get a job out there is just to go I think, especially if you only want to go for a couple of months. I´d get there before the carnival next year and just go round dropping your cv off everywhere. Do some research before and send your cv say when you´re going. Don´t tell them you are only staying for 2 months though, they´ll never take you on. It´s a hard fact but you´ll have to work illegally, it´s a bit of a pain in the arse but that´s just the way it is at the moment. A mate of mine has just come back because he´d had enough of doing visas runs. He´s trying to get a proper visa now.

    I´m sure they´ll be business English in Sao Paulo but it depends on the school, not necessarily. Business English is just glorified English anyway!

    If you´ve got some cash then get there early and travel round and find where you´d lik eto stay. Brazil is massive though with so many options. If I went back I´d go to Rio…amazing place, not bad views on the beach either if you catch my drift…

    Where do you want to go?

    Fire some more q´s. I´m not just trying to plug my book, but I think you´ll find it useful, you sound just like I did before I set off. If you have a kindle its only a couple of quid…

    Good luck…

  3. Hi Barry, nice list 🙂 I see I'll be using many of those in future. Thanks!

    Btw, I'm working on a new pronunciation learning app and I'm also writing for my company's blog. If you've got some time, please check out Saundz website, I'm sure there are plenty of useful resources as well.

    Thanks again!
    J.

  4. Hey Jennifer,

    Thanks for writing. Just checked out your site, looks good, a few of my students like American English rather than British, so I'll show them.

    Thanks

    Barry

  5. Hey Julia,

    Thanks for the comment. Nice site by the way. Am a big fan of pronunciation and helping students improve. Thanks for sharing.

    Barry

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