Word stress intersect: pronunciation game

Jasmine Short

We’re sharing another activity from the Cambridge Copy Collection, this time we’re looking at pronunciation in the Be Understood! resource book. This fun classroom activity comes from Section 2: Syllables and Words and is perfect for engaging intermediate+ (B1+) students in pronunciation.

Pronunciation Practice

1. Put students in pairs, Student A and B. Give each Student A a copy of Student A from Pronunciation Practice and each Student B a copy of Student B. They should not let their partners see their papers.

2. Ask the students to take turns reading words out of order from their tables, making sure they use the correct stress patterns. Their partners should write the words in the correct column in their table.

3. Allow students to show each other their tables to check.

4. Ask students to work in their pairs and think of more words to write in the correct column in their tables. They don’t have to be countries or nationalities.

5. Get feedback from the class.

6. Pair each pair with another to make groups of 4 consisting of 2 teams. Give each group a copy of Page 58 and a dice an tell them they’re going to play a game called ‘Word stress intersect’.

7. Demonstrate how to play the game.

  • First, a player from 1 team rolls the dice and find the stress pattern on the Stress patterns chart that matches the number. The team must choose a word with this stress pattern, pronounce it correctly and write it on the grid, making sure 1 of its letters is on the centre square.
  • Words much go down or left-to-right. They mustn’t go diagonally, right-to-left or up.
  • Next, a player from the other team rolls the dice and finds the stress pattern on the chart that matches. This time, the word the team chooses must share a letter with the word already on the grid. The team pronounces the word and writes it on the grid.
  • If a team rolls a 6 (wild!), they can choose any word that fits into the grid.
  • Teams score 1 point for every letter they put on the board. The game ends at the teacher’s discretion. The team with the most points is the winner.


8. Ask students to play the game and monitor pronunciation.

Download the Word Stress Intersect pages for additional features and a printable game grid.

Teaching Extra

In the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, a ‘ mark comes before syllables with the most stress: /ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ/ (England). However, not all dictionaries show stress in the same way. Students should find out how stress is marked in their own dictionaries.

If you enjoyed the this activity why not try Claire Croal’s syllable game, an ideal pronunciation task for A1 and A2 students.  

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