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In this three-part course, participants will learn several methods for teaching syllables, word stress, phrase stress, and rhythm in both in-person and online classrooms, to improve learners’ pronunciation of English.

Please note: You will access Zoom and other support materials via Blackboard. You cannot access the online course from the SABES website. You will receive a separate email from Joanne Harrington at Quinsigamond Community College 1-2 days before the course begins with instructions on how to access the Blackboard course and the Zoom session.


    This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers who wish to help learners improve their pronunciation and who are able to participate actively in Zoom by voice and video

Pronunciation consists of combining phonemes (units of sound) into segments and syllables and imbuing them with stress, intonation, rhythm, and connected speech features. Syllables and stress are the building blocks of rhythm. In this interactive course, you will learn several practical and effective ways to help students heighten awareness of syllables and stress to improve their pronunciation of words, phrases, and sentences. You will practice each technique from both a learner’s and a teacher’s perspective. Sample exercises and resources will be provided, along with strategies for integrating these techniques into lessons that will also improve learners’ vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, and oral production. Between the facilitated virtual sessions, you are encouraged to try some of the tools and techniques with learners.

In Part 1 (a two-hour facilitated virtual session on May 19, 2021, from 1:00 to 3:00pm), we focus on syllables and word stress and how English compares to other language systems. You will learn and practice how to give students tools to identify and produce syllables and stress appropriately, with specific attention given to online instructional strategies.

In Part 2 (a two-hour facilitated virtual session on May 26, 2021, from 1:00 to 3:00pm), with heightened knowledge of and a familiarity with the tools, we broaden our focus to include pausing, phrase stress and rhythm, and the teaching of these elements of pronunciation to learners in both in-person and online contexts.

In Part 3 (a one-hour facilitated virtual session on June 9, 2021, from 1:00 to 2:00pm of learning. You will have an opportunity to share your successes, challenges, and questions with colleagues and the instructor.

    Learning Objectives

    Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the rationale for perceiving and teaching syllables and stress to English learners
  • Use a variety of techniques for both in-person and remote classes) for helping students identify syllables and stress, and transfer that knowledge to oral production
  • Scaffold learning elements so that students of beginning to advanced levels of proficiency can profit from your teaching
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)

Ability to participate in Zoom

End Date

United States

PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
Digital Literacy
Distance and Blended Learning
ESOL/English Learners