kendra kendra

Phonology: Sentence Stress
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson the students will be guided to noticing stress use and meaning in spoken English.


Abc White Board/Markers
Abc Prezi
Abc English Personality Pictures

Main Aims

  • My main aim with this lesson is that by the end of it they are not only aware of stress in English speaking but they are able to understand its importance and use and incorporate it into their own speech.

Subsidiary Aims

  • I would like to expose them to the idea of creating an English personality, a speaking persona that will help them work their speaking muscles and play with the speech sounds and patterns unnatural in their daily L1 speech.


Warmer/Lead-in (8-10 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Who can tell me what Phonology is? Student definition, review on prezi, parts of phonology, today's focus is stress What is stress? Fill in a mind map on the board Do ssssSSSSSssssSSSSS experiment to elicit the idea of pitch connected to muscular energy and vibration Review mind map on prezi Why is stress important? Bring up the David Blaine and the "What English sounds like to nonspeakers" HW videos What words do we stress and which do we leave unstressed?

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To introduce the idea of rhythm and stressed/unstressed words in a sentence and to have the students identify those in an activity

Content words vs Function (structure) words discussion What words are which (prezi slide) 1,2,3,4 (and then a) example To show how unstressed words are given less importance not only that we emphasize the stressed words also to show rhythm and timing (4 secs) What happens to the unstressed words? Handout of sentence for the students to work in pairs to identify the content words and practice stressing Check together and agree or disagree as a group

Stress for Meaning (8-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify use of stress for coming productive tasks

We stress content words and leave function words unstressed but do we don't stress all content words equally. We have a primary stress that is the focus of our sentence. It gives emotional meaning to the sentence and helps express the idea more clearly giving the listener a focus. Let's work as a group and talk about how the meaning changes in a sentence when different words are stressed. Go to prezi and "I didn't say we should kill your wife" example

Productive Task (10-12 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

You are each going to get a speech. You will analyze the content words and meaning and practice the speech using stress in order to present it to the class. Before you get your speeches I want to talk to you about taking on an English Persona... Give Spanish learning example Explain how it will help to work their English speaking muscles, pointing out physical sssSSSsss experiment Handout speeches and Pictures and allow practice time

Presentation (10-12 minutes) • To provide a situation for feedback on students' production and use of stress

Each student will present their speeches Suggest they allow it to be recorded so they can analyze their performance later along side their famous counterpart

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