- To begin…
- To follow…
- Now, the tools!
👉 To help recognize and remember sounds
The British Council offers an interactive phonemic chart. If you click on the symbols, you can hear the pronunciation. If you click on the little triangle, you can see examples of words that include the sound.
Phonemic chart by Adrian Underhill
There’s another interactive phonemic chart based on the one designed by Adrian Underhill. You can choose a symbol, hear the sound and an example of a word with that sound.
Pronunciation apps & websites
There are lots of applications and websites that offer exercises and quizzes to practice pronunciation. Explore them:
- Exercises and quizzes by ESL Tower
- 9 best online resources at Busyteacher.org
- Vocabulary quizzes and practice at Manythings.com
- Sounds, the pronunciation app by Macmillan
- Spell up by Google
👉 To extend listening time & practicing beyond the classroom
Most tools that will help our students with pronunciation are called text-to-speech, or TTS for short. Basically, we type in text and the application or website reads it aloud. Some are very good, others are still working on that. The pronunciation is usually accurate but they don’t have intonation patterns, which makes them good for sounds rather than whole sentences. Let’s see some examples:
This is a text-to-speech application. It is very simple to use and it works without internet. If you type in text and click on “Talk it”, you can hear words or phrases pronounced in different ways. You can choose the personality of the speaker, speed, pitch and other features.
This is a text-to-speech demo by Oddcast Technology. It is available online. It is very simple to use. If you type in text and click on “Say it”, you can hear words or phrases pronounced in different ways. You can choose the speaker’s gender and nationality; as well as other features.
When using the translator, both the website and the app, you can click on the loudspeaker icon and hear sounds. It is also possible to say something aloud, as if dictating, and check whether the pronunciation is clear.
This is an application to record and edit sound. It is free and quite easy to use. You can record your voice, add sound effects and combine with music or sounds. It is a very good option for story-telling with sound effects. It shows stress and intonation visually, which makes it a good aid for students to understand rhythm and pitch.
This is a voice recorder available online. It is free and very simple to use. Once the audio is recorded, it can be downloaded as an MP3 file, sent by email or shared online.
This website offers talking avatars and you can also record your voice. It’s a good tool to listen to texts read aloud with different avatars and it can be used to record your voice to practice pronunciation and reading aloud. Sign-in is required.
That's all for now!
Feel free to share your experience here :)