Pronunciation Games

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Various readers

"Pronunciation Games" is exactly what I hoped it would be. I've been trying to find fun, diverse ways to focus on pronuncation (not just looking at minimal pairs). This fresh approach to pronunciation is appreciated both by the students and myself.

Also, there is very minimal preparation required for the games. Several games require cutting up papers (for card games), but most do not. I've found that most ESL game books require this and I'm glad "Pronunciation Games" does not.
Kimberley Parker

I bought this book based on seeing it used in a Pronunciation class that I took. I bought it for use in my ESL classroom. It's great because it addresses a variety of pronunciation issues via games for a variety of learner levels. It has easy to follow directions, and it's photocopiable. I've already used a few of the games with my class and the students love it. This book helps to add fun to a potentially boring topic!!
Teacher Risa

Teaching pronunciation is not a comfortable activity for many ESL teachers. The jury is still out on how to do it. I use Helen Fraser's method, teaching students volume, sentence stress, word stress, vowel length, vowel sound and consonant sound in that order. I use largely teacher-made resources.
Hancock's games provide some welcome ready-made activities in most of these areas. Some of the activities fall into the old trap of needing instructions that are too complicated for the level they are aimed at. Most are fairly clear and look as though they will do their job. I will use them for revision for my interpreting students in the next few weeks so may have more info soon. PS I also find Hancock's CD, English Pronunciation, a very useful resource, particularly for students who have persistent problems distinguishing consonant demarcations in English.
A McKenzie

The book is not bad as an additional resource in the classroom. There tends to be an over use of the phonetic alphabet which can make the games more an academic exercise, rather than a fun way to learn pronunciation. Other than that, there a numerous other activities which help students put the correct stress on a word. The stress activities are very good.
Anthony Bennet

Pronunciation Games displays the typical British sense of humor in "Sound Pictures" when it uses a picture of a vulture in a cage above the refrigerator. In some of the word games and mazes, the British RP dialect sans final /r/ is seen in words such as 'car,' 'bear,' and 'dear.' There are various games to play from beginning levels to the more advanced. In addition, this book is reproducible. If you want to teach RP or pick up a British accent while having some fun, this is the book for you. However, a few of the games and word pictures can be used for teaching GA or American English.

Virginia Reader

I was surprised when I received this book to find that the pronunciation taught by these games is RP (Received Pronunciation) or British English. Though some of the games deal with intonation, word stress, etc., and can be used for teaching American English, be aware that many of these games will not be useful for teaching American English pronunciation.
However, if you are teaching British English pronunciation, this book could be a nice resource.
E. Hanson

This is an absolute MUST HAVE for any teacher working on pronunciation. The activities are in the form of games and puzzles, and most of them can be adapted to suit any level. It is SO simple to use I wonder how I've managed so far without it! Some activities are quick to prepare (just photocopy the page and off you go), and others can be mounted onto card and laminated for use over and over again. I've found that students, both adults and children, have found the activities highly interesting, stimulating and, above all, useful. The 'Ludo' game and the 'Stress Maze' have been extremely popular in my classes. Buy it, it's an excellent investment!
A Crazy Teacher

Many EFL teachers don't spend much time on pronunciation tasks (too boring, lack of resources, impossible with a large class etc) yet there is a demand from students for these kinds of activities. This book includes nearly 40 photocopiable games that can be used with a vast range of students (different levels, different L1, different ages, ...) and with different class sizes, or even in one-to-one sessions. The games have simple, easy to explain rules and can fit into slots of 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes. In fact, some of them could also be given as homework (maze, join the dots, dictation computer).

The book has given me ideas for creating my own games, using vocabulary specific to certain groups of students I am working with.

There is unfortunately only one game for advanced students (stress patterns in long words) and one game for upper-intermediate students (intonation in question tags). But some of the other games are suitable for higher-level students or can be adapted.
P Roux


Mark Hancock's picture

I agree with Anthony Bennet, who says that the phonetic symbols are perhaps over-used in Pronunciation Games. They do make things a bit more academic than necessary, and they can lead to inappropriate precision. This is something I would try to steer away from if I were writing this book again.

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