Syllable Stress Table
A lot of people have a lot of problems with word stress in English. The problem is the language, not the learner. Because it is not very systematic, there is no system to teach. What we need then, is a system for studying it.
The Syllable Stress Table (SST), has words in the cells of a table, positioned according to the number of syllables they contain and where the stress falls.
As a task, the students can be given the table without any words in it. Or they can draw the blank table in their exercise books. Then the teacher reads each word, one at a time, and gives the students a little time to write them into the right cell.
The words in the SST below represent the topic of phonology and can be used to good effect in teacher training sessions. SSTs can be used with any topic, for example, flying, as on the right. SSTs can be used to pre-teach vocabulary as shown in the Extreme Weather new story.
The PDF attached below can be downloaded for use as a handout.
It has numbered squares which make them easy to refer to when discussing it with students and getting feedback from them.
SSTs can be used with virtually any level of student. Faulty word stress is common even among advanced learners.
In the process of positioning a word in the table, learners repeat the word, as modelled by the teacher, many times. To achieve the task, they focus very closely on the two criteria – the number of syllables and the stress. It is quite unlikely that they do not think about the meaning of the word and where they know it from.
See examples related to texts:
Lists of words according to the number of syllables and stress.