Quiz: Most Common Pronunciation Mistakes Heard in Class and How to Use this Quiz

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you this is one of those quick posts that you can throw together on a whim because it’s not. It has taken some time to gather all the data needed to create this quiz. Jotting down common mispronunciations is not something you do in a day. You need to be a patient person. You need to listen, correct the mistake and write it down again and again. And only when you see the mistake is repeated consistently, you decide it’s a common pronunciation mistake.

With all the papers that clutter my desk while teaching, it has also helped tremendously to have a large post-it note on my desk where I could easily and quickly store all these mistakes I have been hearing repeatedly in class.

HOW TO USE THIS QUIZ IN CLASS: GAME

I could easily tell my students to do this quiz at home as homework and I will probably do it. Too. However, so much time and effort have been used in creating this quiz that I cannot just give it to them and hope they do it. Some students might do it but… all of them?  I am not that naive. I need to make sure they all correct these common mispronunciations. I don’t want to hear them ever again.

Procedure:

Why a game and not just the quiz? because I firmly believe students learn better if they are engaged and having fun.  I also believe in reinforcing and consolidation. So after the first game-like quiz, there is always a follow-up of some kind.

  • Ideally, students will work in pairs.
  • Give each student a card with A written on one side and B written on the other side. For practical purposes, you can give them an index card or a scrap of paper and ask them to write a big A on one side and a big B on the other side.
  • Tell students they are going to do a pronunciation quiz containing some common pronunciation mistakes.  Each slide will feature a commonly mispronounced word and two possible answers. The first answer in the quiz will be considered ” A ” and the second answer will be “B”.
  • Tell students they will need to silently read the question and decide on the correct answer. Tell them that on the count of three, they will need to show their partner their option: A or B. Emphasize that they should both show their answer at the same time.
  • Choose the correct answer on the displayed quiz and drill pronunciation. Students keep score of the points they get. One point for each correct answer.

Follow -up:

  1. At the end of the class, do the exercise again. This time, students will work in pairs again but on the count of three, they will need to tell each other the correct answer.
  2. The next day, write some of the words on the board and check they know how to pronounce them.

And here’s the quiz. Please, notice that correct answers reflect standard British and American pronunciations backed up by  MacMillan and  Cambridge online dictionaries.

Up to a little challenge?

By the way, some years ago (October 2015)I created this other award-winning quiz on Most Common Pronunciation Mistakes Heard in Oral Exams. Just saying! 🙂

Lesson Plan: Work

After a little bit of a crazy few months, we are finally heading for final exams. More craziness. I know. But, of a different kind.

My first time on Twitter was in December 2015. I was kind of “forced” to open a Twitter account as I was doing an online talk for the British Council on “How to Keep students Motivated” and the app we were using for the event required that I had a Twitter handle.  I didn’t know much about Twitter and even thought, in my ignorance,  it was something bound to disappear but I couldn’t be more mistaken. I love Twitter and have to say  I am kind of hooked on it.  What? You are not following me?  Hey! You’re missing out! This is my twitter handle @blogdecristina.   I hope to meet you all there.

Anyway, I got the idea for the first exercise in this lesson plan from Twitter.  Twitter users were tweeting about “five jobs I have had” and I was like “hmm, that’s a good idea to start a lesson about work!” and without further ado, I set out to write this post about work. Hope you find it useful.

Step 1. Writing and Speaking.Three Jobs I have Had.  

Telling an anecdote about yourself never fails to engage students. It’s only fair that if you are asking them to talk about themselves, you do the same.  On the board, write the following:

Before working as a teacher,

  • I worked as a waitress
  • I worked on a farm picking apples
  • I worked as a baby sitter

Briefly, explain your experiences working in the jobs you have chosen to share with them and then ask them to do the same. Once they have written their sentences, ask them to work in groups of 3 sharing their experiences in these jobs. They are gonna love this exercise!

Step 2. Writing. Choose a Job Game. Working with adjectives
  • Write on the board or give students a hand-out with adjectives used to describe positive character traits for the workplace. Check that they know the meanings.
ambitious confident conscientious easy-going hard-working
honest loyal methodical motivated reliable
punctual responsible dynamic cheerful charming
communicative flexible sociable creative resourceful
  • Display the collage below and ask students to identify the jobs in the collage.

  • Individually and without telling anybody, students choose one of the jobs in the collage and write three clues for the rest of the class/group to guess the job.
  • The first clue needs to necessarily include three character traits associated with the job. This clue is worth 3 points.
  • The second clue needs to be associated with either the workplace or the people you work with if you are doing this job. This clue is worth 2 points.
  • The third clue needs to be associated with something you are required to do in this job. This clue is worth 1 point.
  • Once they all have their clues, ask students to form groups of 4. Taking it in turns, they read Clue 1. If someone guesses the job after reading clue 1, they score 3 points; if clue number 2 has to be read, they will score 2 points …etc.
  • Rules: if a student in the group has a wrong guess for a job, he won’t be allowed to guess again for this job. This will prevent students from giving wild guesses.

Example:

  • In this job, you have to be hard-working, cheerful dynamic and sociable.
  • In this job, you have to work with young and old people
  • In this job, you have to take orders

Answer: waiter

Step 3: Introducing/Revising & Consolidating Vocabulary related to Work

 

Every time I revise or introduce vocabulary in my classes, I make a point of reminding my students that they need to study the vocabulary in chunks. There is no point in studying the verb “apply” if they don’t know the preposition it collocates with.  The next activity is a good one to remind students of this necessity.

 

 

  • Give students two minutes to write all the vocabulary they know related to work, excluding professions.
  • On the board, write a circle with the word Work inside. Do a mind-map with all the vocabulary students provide.
  • Drill pronunciation and then do a quick translation exercise to consolidate meaning and pronunciation.
  • Introduce new vocabulary.

I find it really important to tap into students’ prior knowledge, especially when teaching vocabulary. If they feel they know most of the words, they won’t feel overwhelmed and will be able to maintain a positive attitude.

PDF Vocabulary 

Step 4.Speaking. Playing Cards. A game to activate vocabulary

Aim: to activate vocabulary in a speaking activity

Give each student 10 pieces of paper, more or less the size of a card in a deck of cards. Ask them to write down vocabulary they can remember related to work. Encourage them to write chunks, for ex. “apply for” or “quit a job”.  They should write each chunk on a different piece of paper. Encourage legible clear handwriting. Once this is done:

  1. Ask students to form groups of three
  2. Ask them to place their cards face down on the table. They might want to shuffle them a bit. Each student is dealt two cards.
  3. Display the first question from the presentation below and ask students to discuss it trying to use the words in their cards. As soon as they use the chunk in a card, they discard it and take a new one, they should always have two cards in their hands.
  4. Allow 4 minutes per question and then display a new question for the students to discuss.
  5. Students continue in the same way using vocabulary, discarding and taking new cards until there are none left in the pile. At this point, they will count the number of cards they have managed to use. Each card is worth 1 point. Very quickly they decide who the winner is and shuffling the cards the game starts all over again until all the questions have been answered or you deem appropriate.

Work

Step 5. Oral and written Mediation

Yes. Mediation.  I know some of you hate it, and some of you don’t even know what it is. Mediation and I, I think we have clicked, and as  I am afraid it is here to stay, emotional intelligence should apply here if we want to keep the good vibes coming. I have decided to be smart and embrace mediation.

Below, you’ll find two examples of oral interlinguistic, also called cross-linguistic,  mediation and an example of written interlinguistic mediation

Interested in spicing up your lessons? I ran face-to-face workshops helping teachers integrate technology in their classes in an easy way, using free online digital tools. Practical tested ideas that combine traditional teaching with modern techniques. Fun and learning, a win-win!

From teacher to teacher. In English and in Spanish.