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The meaning of a word depends on the stress of the word and how the words is spoken. For a native English speaker this may be difficult to hear as it is not immediately obvious how and what words are stressed within a sentence. This unit begins with the rise and fall of speech when making a statement. When asking a question, there is usually a fall and rise at the end of a sentence. This rhythm of speaking is referred to as intonation.
Another difficult concept of pronunciation is where to stress a word or a syllable within a word. This depends on what the speaker is emphasizing and how many syllables are in the word. Native english speakers also join sounds together by dropping and changing sounds while speaking. The more an ESL student can hear and imitate sound joining the more natural the speaker will sound. Phonemic symbols are used to sound out how a word sounds and not how it is spelled. This is very helpful for a non native speaker to decipher words they don't know how to pronounce. There are some fun and engaging ways to incorporate pronunciation practice with students.For example, tongue twisters are a great way to practice speech.