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This video seeks to address issues students have with past tense verb pronunciation. Students usually do not struggle with making the sounds but make mistakes when conjugating verbs into past tense. So this activity seeks to raise awareness of voice and unvoice as well as isolation of sounds in order to properly conjugate verbs into past tense. I feel this activity is useful because it reinforces their past tense vocabulary while allowing them to build phonological skills.

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Comment by Nicholas Jacob Nowak on December 24, 2013 at 3:54pm

Thanks so much for the feedback both of you! I actually recorded the explanation bit with the kazoo's but I had to delete it to make room for the activity. The students really enjoyed that part too!

Laura, I think that perhaps adult learners could be a little more sensitive to correction. In this activity with middle school learners they found correction mistakes funny and light-hearted but adult learners might be intimidated or humiliated by this kind of correction. To alleviate this, instead of drawing answers from the cups, maybe just have each team designate a writer who has a piece of paper for their team with 3 categories for the phonemes: /t/ /d/ and /Id/, when the word is guessed correctly, the write will write it in the proper category. During the answer check, I will just write the three categories on the board and elicit answers from volunteers. This will allow me to give the error correction I see best for the student.

Comment by Laura Wilkes on December 24, 2013 at 2:44pm

Hi Nick,

I really like your creativity in using a Kazoo to emphasize voiced and unvoiced sounds - this sounds like terrific fun with young learners. Fantastic! Your mix of kinesthetic, visual and auditory activities is effective in keeping your students engaged and the pace of the lesson moving. The cup game was a great way to get students to categorize sound endings by getting them to say them and think about whether they are voiced or unvoiced. The task itself lent to differentiation, as students who worked quickly could be challenged by returning to take more slips of paper.


If you were to present this in a diploma interview I think the examiner would ask whether the same strategy could be applied to adult learners; whether you would make any amendments and why. What are your thoughts on this?





Comment by Ross Thorburn on December 24, 2013 at 2:34pm

Hi Nicholas. I love the idea of the kazoos to show the voiced unvoiced difference. Very creative and inductive!


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