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Teaching Connected Speech
by Abdullah Coskun
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Lesson Plan for the Teaching of Reduced Forms

Level: Intermediate
Duration:50 mins

• Help students to become aware of reduced forms.
• Help students to understand the mentality of reduced forms and identify the reduced words and sentences.

Warm-up: Play a song with reduced forms:
I wanna be with you...'cos I'm eighteen...Lights are gonna find me...All you've gotta do...I bet you think this song's 'bout you, don't you? (Retrieved from:
Play it again, pausing after each line and getting students to repeat the lines. Play it one last time to let students take notes of the song and practice the song with their partners.

Presentation: Ask the question: "Was the song hard to understand? Why/Why not?" After eliciting students' responses, ask them to write the lines of the song in standard written English and sing the song again to their partner in its formal, standard, written form. Ask them how they feel about the two different versions of the song.
Talk about the reasons why there are lines like "I wanna be with you" rather than "I want to be with you". Ask them to give similar examples in English. Add some more examples of sentences with reduced forms on the board. (adapted from Brown & Hilferty, 1982, 1995).
I am gonna go on a holiday next week. He hasta get up early tomorrow morning. Couldja swin when you were a child? I dunno what you're talkin' bout How d'ya feel?

Practice: Ask them to identify the reduced forms in the sentences above and make them repeat the sentences below quickly three or more times to their partners and let them feel the change in the sentences when uttered quickly after a couple of repetitions. At the end, read the sentences quickly yourself and make them repeat after you.

This has got to be the best we have ever done.
There's got to be a better way to do this.
Just as I thought, he is not coming.
Cup of coffee when you have a minute?
Could he been the postman ringing the doorbell.
Peace and quiet. That is what we need.
Is her brother going to come to the party?
What do you think will happen to her?
Give me the key.
I don't know
What do you want to eat?
Would you like a banana?
Don't you know?

Production: Play a dialogue between two students in the cafeteria and ask students to jot down the full formal form of the second words of each sentence. (if it is something like /'s/, they should write "is"). Play it once and give them to students to peer check the words they could catch. After checking students' words, let them practice the dialogue as it is in the listening material.
Assignment: Watch the film "Identity" or any other American movie, and write down the reduced forms you can catch in the first ten minutes of the film. You can also work on a pop song.

• Brown, J. D. (2006). Authentic communication: Whyzit importan' ta teach reduced forms? Shizuoka, Japan: Tokai University College of Marine Science. (p. 13 - 24).
• Brown, G and Yule, G (1983). Teaching the spoken language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Chen, S.W. (2002). Problems in listening comprehension for learners of EFL. Studies in English Language and Literature, 10, 57-70.Goh, C.C.M (2000). A cognitive perspective on listening comprehension problems. System, 28, 55-75.
• Hasan, A.(2000). Learners' perceptions of listening comprehension problems. Language, Culture and Curriculum,13,137-152.Marks, J. (1999). Is stress-timing real? ELT Journal 53(3), 191-199.
• Norris, R.W. (1995). Teaching reduced forms: Putting the horse before the cart. English Teaching Forum, 33, 47-50.
• Rosa, M. (2002). Don'cha Know? A survey of ESL teachers! perspectives on reduced forms instruction? Second Language Studies , 21(1), 49-78
• Sun, K.C. (2002). Investigation of English listening difficulties of Taiwan students. The 11th Conference on English Teaching and Learning in the Republic of China, 518-525. Taipei: Crane.
• Underwood, M. (1989). Teaching listening. London: Longman.
• Ur.P. (1984). Teaching listening comprehension. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Abdullah Coskun is an EFL teacher at Abant Izzet Baysal University,Turkey. He has BA and MA in ELT at Abant Izzet Baysal University,Turkey and is currently a PHD candidate. He can be contacted at the following email address:

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