From ‘Pronunciation Games’ to ‘PronPack’

Pronunciation Games (CUP 1995) was my first book, and it still sells today over two decades later. It’s a resource book for teachers, consisting of 36 photocopiable game pages along with step by step teaching notes. It proved to be immediately popular and won an award – the Frank Bell prize – shortly after publication. Nowadays, when I am out at ELT events, people often tell me how much they have been influenced by the book.

In the years since writing Pronunciation Games, I went on to write a wide variety of ELT books about pronunciation and other topics, but throughout that time, I have been reflecting on that first book: What was good about it? What were its shortcomings? What would I do differently today? The answer to these questions are what lie at the heart of my new series, PronPack 1-4. Continue reading “From ‘Pronunciation Games’ to ‘PronPack’”

Wearing the Teacher’s Hat

At the NCE conference in Ede, Netherlands. The hat means I’m in role of teacher and you’re the students. Hats off means we’re all what we are – conference participants. In teacher role, I demonstrated two task sequences for pronunciation lessons. In conference role, we discussed the pros and cons of the tasks.

Practical Pronunciation Demo at TESOL Spain

Mark Hancock at TESOL Spain

Say ‘sssssss’ with your fingers in your ears. Now do the same with ‘zzzzz’ – and hear the difference! This is me at TESOL Spain demonstrating this simple way of showing students the difference between unvoiced /s/ and voiced /z/.  I love little practical experiments like this in the pronunciation class. Thanks to Daniel Barber for the photo!

Models in Pronunciation Teaching

In the past, it was often assumed without further thought that learners should be taught to approximate to General British (GB) or General American (GA). Students assumed that they ought to sound like a native speaker. Teachers and published materials worked on the assumption that the model should be the native speaker accent with the widest acceptance and prestige. Indeed, this point of view is still widely held today. However, many people now question this assumption. Continue reading “Models in Pronunciation Teaching”

A Pronunciation Syllabus across ‘PronPack’

Resource Packs

Each book in PronPack 1-4 is different from the others by activity-type, rather than the pronunciation points covered. Each book is a resource pack taking one particular approach to a wide range of pronunciation points. All of the books move generally from individual sounds near the beginning to suprasegmental features towards the end. Continue reading “A Pronunciation Syllabus across ‘PronPack’”

The PronPack Sound Chart

PronPack Sound Chart Infograpic
This infographic explains how the PronPack Sound Chart is organised, click on the image to see a bigger picture.

What is the Sound Chart for?
The PronPack Sound Chart is primarily a reference tool and several versions will be available in the Resources to accompany the Pronpack books shortly.

Teachers may print a copy as large as possible to put on the classroom wall. Whenever a pronunciation point comes up in class relating to one or more of the individual sounds, you can point it out on the chart. Continue reading “The PronPack Sound Chart”