Teaching tips & advice

Online pronunciation resources for ESL/EFL teachers

Sounds of English

  • American English Pronunciation Practice
    “General American” English minimal-pairs practice with Flash and MP3 files, from
  • Diphthongs and Triphthongs
    Students can hear and practice saying diphthongs and tripthongs from both General American and RP (British) English.
  • (American) English Pronunciation/Listening
    Exercises and pronunciation practice for each individual sound of (General American) English, from the New Okanagan College. A particularly useful feature of this site is that sound production is videoed, from the front and side, so your students can see exactly what the sound production looks like.
  • Phonetics: the Sounds of American English
    Project from the University of Iowa, with recordings of sounds (organised by placement) and really useful animations showing how the organs of articulation move to produce each sound.
    British English (RP) website where students can try to reproduce minimal pairs.
  • Sounds of (British RP) English
    Interactive, online chart from the British Council, allowing users to click on and hear (and try to reproduce) individual RP English sounds.
  • The Speech Accent Archive: English language
    Brilliant online project allowing you and your students to hear English spoken in a wide variety of different accents (mostly American, but with a sprinkling of other accents from around the world – UK, Australian, Jamaican, …). You can hear each recorded text at the same time as read it in the Roman alphabet and in (IPA) phonetic script.
  • Word Stress and Sentence Stress
    Useful articles (with short, British English audio-clip examples, and occasional exercises) from

Software for ESL/EFL teachers and students

Recording – to your computer

Your computer almost certainly comes with an included sound recorder. The programs below are all good, basic and free options. Remember that you’ll need some kind of microphone to use them, though!

Recording – to create podcasts

The sites below allow you to record and share audio and (sometimes) video files online.

Recording – to voice boards

Voice boards are online forums where you can hear messages instead of reading them, so students can record themselves and upload their audio files to a special webpage.


Online video or audio chat

Note: you will need to download (one of) the pieces of software below, and make sure it is installed on your students’ computers as well.

  • Google Talk
  • MSN Messenger
    This only works with Windows and Mac OS X operating systems (not Linux et al).
  • Skype
    Very popular program that works on all the major operating systems.
Chatting in virtual worlds

Note: this will require a fast internet connection from your students’ and your computers.

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