What are pronunciation puzzles?
Pronunciation puzzles are challenging game-like activities which students can do on their own, although they are fun to do in pairs or small groups. They include such puzzle types as mazes, sudoku, word searches and crosswords.
What are the benefits of doing these puzzles?
The puzzles can benefit learners principally by raising awareness of patterns in the pronunciation of English such as how certain letter combinations are pronounced, where the stress falls in word families, or how words are joined together in connected speech. Although they may be completed in complete silence, students tend to say the words and phrases out loud to themselves as this helps them to complete the puzzles. In this way, the activities also provide some active pronunciation practice.
What aspects of pronunciation are covered?
The puzzles at the beginning of the book focus on individual sounds. The later ones focus on features such as the grammatical endings –ed and –s, suffixes and word stress, tonic stress and connected speech. In addition, since all of the words and phrases in the puzzles appear in printed form, they serve to raise awareness of sound-spelling correspondences, and reinforce the insight that English spelling does not reflect pronunciation as closely as students often expect.