Teaching Tips

Walk __ By: Raising Learner Consciousness About Unstressed Words

  • Donna M. Brinton (Educational Consultant)


In English, unlike many of the world’s languages, stressed elements occur at relatively regular intervals in a phrase or thought group, as in the following examples: I’d like to buy a laptop. He wouldn’t eat his pancakes. She didn’t close the window. This alternating rhythmic pattern of English is familiar to most native speakers of English due to the reliance of English poetry on rhythmic patterns such as iambic (da-DUM, da-DUM, da- DUM) or trochaic (DUM-da, DUM-da, DUM-da). In terms of pedagogical practice, the strongly rhythmic nature of English lends itself to classroom activities such as clapping or tapping in time with the stressed elements.

How to Cite:

Brinton, D. M., (2014) “Walk __ By: Raising Learner Consciousness About Unstressed Words”, Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Proceedings 6(1).

Download PDF
View PDF

Published on
01 Jan 2015