Are you teaching pronunciation remotely?

Hello colleagues, Have you included pronunciation lessons in your remote teaching? Are you able to provide feedback one-on-one to learners? Thanks for letting us know what's working well.

In my program, we have been able to offer a one-on-one Zoom conversation class. The teacher offers explicit feedback during these sessions. We are also using the audio feature of WhatsApp to provide specific pointers on pronunciation. The students record themselves and send their message to the teacher, and the teacher records an audio message in return.

Also, if you have online pronunciation resources to share, please do!

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP


I'm currently meeting on Zoom with my students. I have them read paragraphs from their text books, one person at a time while the rest are following along. I make corrections as they go, this way everyone have the opportunity to make sure that they have the right pronunciation for the challenging words.

Another method I'm using is sharing my screen while I have the pronunciation software pulled up. I use the different IPA sound lessons contained in this software, including activities like identifying vocabulary words. Immediately after, I let my students practice by allowing them to control the screen on their end.

Hello Aleyda, Thanks for jumping into this conversation. I'm intrigued by how teaching pronunciation is working for you and your class. Could you tell us more about the learners you are working with and about the software you are using?

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP

Hi, Susan and all,

My colleagues and I have developed a fairly sophisticated pronunciation app with voice recognition and feedback grounded in the Color Vowel approach to teaching pronunciation. 

Blue Canoe is the app, and it is currently available for FREE to learners and teachers. (The app is designed for adults but is interface-appropriate for high school and even middle school students). You can learn more about Blue Canoe here and request free licenses for your students here

Color Vowel is a pronunciation teaching method developed over the last 20 years by me and my co-author, Shirley Thompson and shaped by the input of thousands of teachers and learners around the world. You can learn more about Color Vowel here or sign up for a free introductory webinar here. 

As for online pronunciation teaching, both Color Vowel and Blue Canoe support remote learning. The app is a powerful 'mobile textbook', and the method lends itself to teaching via video conference.

Happy to answer questions! 

Karen Taylor

I've been having success working with voice quality settings (movements of the jaw, lips, tongue, etc.) with one of the literacy level learners that I'm tutoring right now. We're using WhatsApp video calls, so I'll say words or phrases from our reading that she's having issues with pronouncing while she watches me, and then she'll repeat them back and try to imitate my mouth movements. Usually I use mirrors when I'm working with a class, but video calls are perfect for this! Then we'll take turns mouthing words, while the other person reads the lips and says the word out loud. It's been a lot of fun! It would probably work even better with a Zoom or Google Meet call on the computer where the video is bigger, but WhatsApp is what she has readily available and knows how to use. 

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the ideas. I'm really looking forward to trying out Blue Canoe and other resources teachers have shared. LINCS conversations have provided such rich resources in the time of remote learning. I work with level one students, many of whom I have finally on Zoom. The other night I tried something with pronunciation. We are working on clothing items, so I shared a screen with the students from Learning Chocolate with clothing pictures and audio. The site offers different ways to listen and practice. I used my annotate tools to "highlight" the pictures of clothing on the screen, and then I played the audio. I called on different students to "name" items as well. I also asked "What is it?" and "What are they?" questions and then had students answer by looking at the pictures. All in all it went well. As we are all learning the delay in audio can be a problem, but that's just part and parcel of this online learning business. One tip - that people may already know about - is that on Zoom when you share screen, you should click the two boxes at the bottom of the screen (before you share) to optimize sound and video. It helps immensely in what the students can hear. Thanks again to everyone who has shared!



Thank you, Andrea and Moira, for sharing your experiences with teaching pronunciation remotely. Using video has been a wonderful way to stay connected with learners, and as you point out, Andrea, video enables teachers to model for learners the position of the mouth for the various sounds of English. Meeting one-on-one is a great way to provide feedback on pronunciation.. 

Moira, I, too, have used Learning Chocolate when teaching beginners, and the studens love it. You've discovered a fun and meaningful way to integrate this site into your remote teaching. 

Let's hear more ideas for teaching pronunciation at a distance.

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP