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Language Warm-Up

Warming up students’ ears and mouths to help with English letter sounds

Context

Language Warm-Up is a methodology geared towards helping students who are learning English to learn to pronounce and hear sounds in English. These warm-ups can be used daily and progress through identifying alphabetic and numerical sounds, repeating minimal pairs, and repeating sentences based on content matter. More complex warm-ups involve tongue twisters and synonyms and antonyms. Students can use whiteboards during practice to write answers to questions given during warm-up, which allows for extra written practice as well as an added opportunity for teachers to quickly scan student answers to check for understanding. Students can also use mirrors as an engaging way for students to see the way their tongues and mouths move when producing sounds after observing the teacher’s mouth when modeling producing a sound. Similarly, phonics phones made of ABS or PVC pipes can be used to help sounds be amplified for students to help make certain sounds easier to hear.

This strategy is provided by the Office of English Language Acquisition Services, a division of the Arizona Department of Education. Copy provided from Clark Consulting and training.

Student Does

  • Uses a variety of tools to produce and identify English alphabet sounds using a variety of tools including whiteboards, mirrors, and phonics phones
  • Identifies differences between sounds

Teacher Does

  • Explicitly models producing and identifying English alphabet sounds and phrases using a variety of tools
  • Models differentiating between sounds
  • Strategically monitors student practice and checks for understanding