Every seasoned ESL teacher knows the good old -ED pronunciation rules. When a word ends in |t| or |d|, an extra syllable is added and pronounced as |id|. When a word doesn’t end in |t| or |d|, the pronounced ending is truncated to a stopped |t| or |d| and no extra syllable is added. If you’re still reading, you’re either a linguist, a veteran ESL teacher, or extremely confused right now. I’ve taught this lesson top-down, sideways, and backwards, and I think I’ve finally found the best approach.
The Pizza Pets is a short story about a woman who loses her pets and her pizza. It’s a simple story, but it’s loaded with 50 common words ending in -ed, like arrived, called, and stopped. Students can choose to read, listen, and repeat sounds for each of the words.
I developed this story while teaching students form Latin-based language backgrounds, particularly Portuguese, French and Spanish. Students from these linguistic backgrounds often have trouble pronouncing stopped sounds correctly. For example, the word “stopped” is sometimes incorrectly pronounced “stop-id.”
While students often have no problem grasping the rule in isolation, it’s a different story when it comes to pronouncing these words at will. I needed a way to provide students with practice ad nauseam, and thus, The Pizza Pets was born.
The Google Slide audiobook I’ve created is perfect for in-person and distance learning platforms. Students will hear the correct pronunciation of each word throughout the story, and then they can click at each -ed word for additional repeated practice.
When I tried this lesson out on my private online students from Brazil, they absolutely loved it! They gained confidence in reading common -ed words and felt accomplished after finishing a complete text in English.
The story is easy enough to understand for high beginners, yet not babyish for my adult learners. I saw immediate improvement in my students’ ability to recognize and pronounce those -ed words correctly following this lesson. Yay!
I created some companion worksheets and a complete lesson plan that can be easily followed or edited by teachers.
I hope you enjoy this resource. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
Thanks and happy teaching!