Teaching speaking - Unit 3: Individual Sounds

Unit 3 looks at pronunciation, in particular individual sounds.

In the video, you will see John Kay and teachers giving suggestions and demonstrating activities on how to help students with difficult sounds in English. This unit contains the following elements:

  • A short video
  • A downloadable series of reflection tasks and activities.
  • An answer key and further opportunities for reflection.
  • If you are a teacher trainer and are planning to use the material in a face-to-face context, there is a set of trainer notes for each topic.

The downloadable material asks you or your trainees to think about what special pronunciation problems your students have. You will need to match the techniques presented on the programme to specific pronunciation problems. You will also have the opportunity to try out an activity based on the phonemic chart as well as other classroom activities.

The videos in this series express the view that “English language teaching has the same challenges the world over”, but that the solutions to these problems depend very much on the local context, and for this reason the approach taken focuses on tasks that enable the participants to relate the video to their own specific practice and experience.

If this video is not available for viewing in your location, please click here


Submitted by Silangan Explorer on Sun, 11/27/2016 - 08:24


It's not easy even when your L1 is English. I made 4 mistakes in the "o" sounds, even after trying to say it aloud do I can hear myself pronounce the words. I am trying to teach this to my beginner students, and it takes a lot of effort from both students and teacher.

Submitted by Aydalith on Wed, 04/19/2017 - 17:20


L1 often interfers when producing an English sound. It's really difficult to produce even for teachers. So before teaching we should practise as well.

Submitted by kuroneko on Fri, 08/31/2018 - 09:43


It is not good to depend on audio sounds too much. Non-native teachers have to practice reading and speaking aloud every day if it is possible. When we only use CD players and other audio devices and don't read English sentences, students think like this; "Oh, reading and speaking English correctly is too difficult even for teachers, so we, students can't do it ( or don't have to try to do it )." Teachers have to be a good model of non-native speakers who try to speak English.

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