PDF version: TESOL Sample Lesson P1

TESOL TEACHER TRAINING SAMPLE: PRONUNCIATION building phonological awareness with geography.

OBJECTIVE: Participants (hence Ps) will be able to list countries, draw attention to letter sounds, and discover “the magic –e.” [Oral/written text italicized.]

GOAL: Raise awareness for teaching letter sounds, in addition to the alphabet.

ENGAGE (2-minutes):

  1. Ask the class to name some countries that begin with the letter M (e.g. Mexico, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, and so on). Move on and explain that today we will be making lists of countries. There is no need to point out the phonemic aspects just yet.

STUDY (15 minutes):

  1. Separate the class into pairs or small groups. If possible, provide Ps with a large political world map.
  2. Give Ps two minutes to list as many countries possible that begin and end with the letter A. Technically there are nine: Argentina, Andorra, Austria, Australia, Armenia, Albania, Angola, Algeria, and Antigua and Barbuda (a small Caribbean island).
  3. Ask the group with the most countries listed to come write the names on the board. Fill in any remaining countries as a class.
  4. Ask Where are Angola and Algeria located? Write on the board as the Ps ideally say: Angola and Algeria are in Africa. Ask Ps: What sound is being repeated? (/æ/) Yes, the /æ/ sound is actually repeated eight times in the sentence. As a group, say the sentence together as your finger points out the /æ/ sounds along the way.
  5. Give Ps two minutes to list countries that begin with I. There are nine: Italy, Iran, Iraq, Israel, India, Indonesia, Iceland, Ireland, and Ivory Coast (aka Cote D’ivoire).
  6. Ask the group with the most countries listed to come write the names on the board. Fill in any remaining countries as a class.
  7. Ask Ps What letter sound is repeated with these countries? The likely answer will be “I” or /aɪ/ as in “hide” but Italy, Iran, Iraq, Israel, India, and Indonesia say /ɪ/ as in “it.” Here, only Iceland and Ireland make the /aɪ/ sound. Ivory Coast could go either way depending on the speaker.
  8. Explain how this effect results from a “magic –e” that makes some vowels say their name. More importantly, explain that this effect is not universal. But typically when an -e is preceded by a vowel/consonant, the vowel says its name. For example, hid+e = hide; at+e = ate; cut+e = cute, but notice that with on+e the -o doesn’t change. The same can be said for hav+e and giv+e. Remember, typical, not universal, move on.

ACTIVATE (5-10 minutes):

  1. Have participants in small groups identify other potentially useful letter sounds using country names (or geography in general), and present their ideas to the class. (e.g. /s/  or _______land for /l/)

EXTENSION: After Step 4, demonstrate how country names can help generate grammar as well:

People names in country names: Tina lives in Argentina; Al is in Australia but not in Austria; Nia broke her arm in Armenia; and so on. Verbs in country names: When did you go to Angola? Last year I went to Angola.

PDF version: TESOL Sample Lesson P1

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