Word Stress and Memorising New Words

Long time teachers. Hope you are all well! Today will be a very short post, but we hope you will find it useful!

Today we will look at ways to help your students remember new words more easily. In particular, we will look at the role of WORD STRESS to help your students with vocabulary.

As you all know, when teaching new vocabulary to children it is a good idea to combine MEANING, FORM and PRONUNCIATION.

Flashcards are an excellent way to do this. Not only are the nice colours attractive to children but the pictures very quickly give the MEANING! This is especially useful for things children can already see, touch and smell. As a result, you should not need to translate anything.

As for FORM you can show this with the word. We advise using lower case letters because this helps children see the shape of the word and as a result remember its form better.

PRONUNCIATION is the next step. It is very important for children to hear the word. When children know how something sounds it is the starting point in helping them with their reading and writing at later stages of their language development.

An important part of PRONUNCIATION is STRESS. STRESS simply means a part of the word that sounds different to the rest of the word. It might sound stronger and longer (you can hear this with the words from our flashcards below).

Grouping words according to similar categories help a lot too. For example, words to do with fruit, vegetables, things inside the house, things inside the classroom.

By grouping words together, children will be able to recall more words because they relate these words to ONE FAMILY. In other words, remembering one helps them remember the other.

However, you can also group words according to their STRESS PATTERN. Words with similar STRESS PATTERNS are easier to remember because they sound similar. Because they sound similar, they are treated like ONE FAMILY. This is why activities like chants, rhymes and tongue twisters are used a lot to help children learn new languages. Sounds are very powerful for children!

In our examples above, we have selected fruit and vegetables that have the same STRESS PATTERN. Notice that all of them have STRESS on the first syllable. Try them with your students. Are they able to remember them more easily?

Please let us know by leaving a COMMENT below if you found this useful!

For help with pronunciation you can search and listen to these words in an excellent online dictionary by Cambrdige. The link is below:


You click on the pictures below to download.

Or you can listen to our recording below:


Thanks for reading our short post today teachers! Catch you again soon with more tips on teaching English!

8 thoughts on “Word Stress and Memorising New Words

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