The aim of this word stress maze pronunciation game is to practise word stress in three syllable words, with the middle one stressed (o O o). It works best with more advanced groups, mostly because of the vocabulary. I enjoy including some pronunciation practice in my conversation classes and this one has worked really well.
Before you play introduce the word “important” (the first word in the maze). Elicit the number of syllables (3) and ask the students which is the stressed one (POR). Do the same with the words “department” and “authentic”.
Once the students get familiarised with the concept, introduce the maze ( one worksheet per two people). Tell them they need to find a path to the exit made of three syllable words, stressed like “important”, with the stress on the middle syllable. There are 16 more words like this in the maze.
For another pronunciation game take a look at this word stress board game.
For some time now I have been looking for ways to introduce short pronunciation activities during my classes. My students usually show little interest in practising this skill and sometimes admit they feel uncomfortable doing classic pronunciation drills. Word stress is one of the biggest challenges my Spanish-speaking students face, and at the same time this area might be taught using numerous games. The sound maze is a pretty simple and effective way for them to focus on something other than their pronunciation insecurity (finding the way!). This was a pleasant break from grammar and a fun way to make students more aware of word stress patterns.