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Pronunciation Game: Battleship

The key to developing good pronunciation is getting lots of repetitive practice. It's all about developing muscle memory. Of course, repetitive practice can be quite boring. That's why we've come up with a way for students to practice key sounds over and over again and still have fun. To do this, we have adapted a popular game called Battleship.

Before you continue, please download the battleship worksheet by clicking here.

Notice that there are two grids on the sheet, one at the top and one at the bottom. The top grid is for keeping track of your progress during the game. The bottom grid is the main space you will use to play the game. I will explain more in a bit.

Step one: please write down a list of words in the empty boxes at the side and top of both grids. The top and bottom grids should have the exact same words, in the exact same order. Here is an example below.

SOMONA Battleship grid
sample pronunciation battleship grid

Step two: At the bottom of the page notice how there are shaded blocks with the words "battleship", "carrier", "cruiser", and "submarine" written next to them. These are ships that must be hidden inside of the grid. To hide their ships, students must shade in the number of block that correspond to each ship. Blocks can be shaded horizontally or vertically. Here is an example.

Somona battleship
Here is an example of hidden ships.

Step there: Find a partner and decide who will go first.

Step four: Search for each other's ships and destroy them. To do that each player takes turns calling out coordinates on the grid. Those coordinates are made up of a word from the left side of the grid and a word from the top of the grid. See the example below:

SOMONA battleship coordinates
Call coordinates to find your opponents ship.

Based on the above image the student dialog would look something like this:

Student A: "Is there anything at 'camera' and 'jack'?

Student B: "No there isn't."

Next is student B's turn

Student B: "Is there anything at 'fast' and 'jazz'?

Student A: "Oh no! Yes there is."

Even if there was a hit, he next person takes a turn. In this way, each student takes turns looking for their opponent's ships. The goal is to sink them all. Hitting one part of a ship does not sink it. To do that, students must hit all of the blocks that makes up one of their opponent's ships. Once all blocks of a single ship have been hit, it will be destroyed.

Battleship is a fun game and can take up to 40 minutes or more to play if you keep it going until all ships have been found and destroyed. The best part is students will have 40 solid minutes of repetitive pronunciation practice. When time is up they usually want to play more.

Important tips

1. Before the game starts, review all of the words and their pronunciation.

2. If possible use minimal pairs for the coordinate words. Minimal pairs was two words that sound the same except for the target sound for example light/right or John/Joan

3. At the end of the game practice the coordinate words

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