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  1. Ikramullah's Avatar
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Pashto, Pushto
      • Home Country:
      • Afghanistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 34

    Question Teaching stress in words

    How can we teach stress in words to foriegn students?

    Teaching method for stress in words?

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036

    Smile Re: Teaching stress in words

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikramullah View Post
    How can we teach stress in words to foriegn students?

    Teaching method for stress in words?
    Oh, well, that's a long answer. I can answer this, but a piece at a time.

    First of all, syllable stress in English words often appears to be unpredictable, but there are some fairly regular patterns that do occur.

    Here are two to start off:

    In compound nouns, the first part - or "first word" - receives the stress, while the second part - or "second word" - is weaker, with falling intonation.

    So, one way to demonstrate this is a visual on the whiteboard is to use capital letters.

    HOUSEcleaning - HOUSEkeeper

    You can also underline the first part.


    Another way is to use darker print. Just highlight the text and click on B at the top of the whiteboard, or simply write darker.

    supermarket desktop


    In two syllable nouns - ones that are not compound nouns - the first syllable usually receives the stress. There are exceptions, but we can often count on this being so.

    Here are some examples.

    center, paper, glasses, speaker, winter, plastic, walnut, pepper, number, fire, liar, handle, going, insect, mountan, parrot - and the list can go on.

    exception: complaint - the second syllable receives the stress in this word.

    I'll come back with more sometime later, but I can't say when that'll be, so stay tuned, and check in every once in a while.

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036

    Re: Teaching stress in words

    Multi-syllable words with certain endings have the same stress pattern. There are a number of endings like, and to make a list outlining all of them with many examples is an exhaustive task, which I've taken it upon myself to do and have completed. Though I'm sure it's never really complete, as I've probably left something out or didn't account for a particular pattern or ending.

    Anyway, here are a few examples that I recently used to teach a student who is a chemist.

    saturation - calibration - indication - validation

    saturate - calibrate - indicate - validate

    photography - biography - chromatography

    Take note of which syllable receives the stress in each group of words.

    So far we have compound nouns, two syllable nouns, and multi-syllable words that have the same stress pattern.
    Last edited by PROESL; 09-Aug-2009 at 02:48.

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