This activity is designed to raise students' awareness of the silent letters in English. If you believe your students tend to mispronounce words with these letters, why don't you try out this activity in your classes?
Materials Needed: None
Preparation: Photocopy the student cards below or prepare a 4×4 grid for student A’s and B’s similar to the ones below.
Interaction Patterns: Pair work, whole-class activity
Time: 20 minutes
- Students work in pairs.
- Hand student A’s the student A card and B’s the student B card.
- This is an information gap activity. Student A’s card is different from that of Student B. Thus, they need to ask each other questions to fill in the missing boxes on their cards.
- Students in turn ask each other “What is number …?” and fill in their tables.
- Remind students not to show each other their cards but to say those words so that they practice pronunciation.
- Closely monitor the pairs to check they pronounce the words correctly. Provide help when necessary.
- At the end of the pair-work activity, elicit each word and provide the correct pronunciation if needed.
- Then, attract students’ attention to the boxes at the top of their tables.
- Ask pairs to label the columns A, B, C and D according to common characteristics of the words in that column.
- If students cannot find that common characteristic, highlight the silent letters in the words in that column.
- Students give a title to each column (KEY: Column A will be titled SILENT B; column B will be named SILENT H; column C will be titled SILENT C and column D will be labelled SILENT W).
- After giving a title to each column, check the pronunciation of a couple of words from the box to make sure students have understood the concept of silent letters in English.
- Turkish students tend to have difficulty in the pronunciation of words with silent letters and this activity is a fun way of raising awareness of this important issue.
For more pronunciation activities, you may read the chapter on Pronunciation Activities in my activity book, The Activist.