Create and review Anki flashcards for practicing problematic word stress patterns

Follow the example of the model flashcard below to create Anki flashcards for highly frequent vocabulary controlled by a word stress pattern you find difficult (from your field, from academic spoken English, or from general spoken English). When reviewing each flashcard:

  1. Pronounce its word,
  2. Flip the card over to check your pronunciation, especially in relation to its word stress pattern,
  3. Think of a sentence using the word that you could potentially use when teaching undergrads or in everyday English communication1, and
  4. Say this sentence aloud 3 times, paying close attention to maintaining correct word stress even in sentence context. (Do not skip checking your sentence contexts!!!–Although it is frequently easy to stress a word/phrase correctly in isolation, the natural tendency is to return to one’s previous habit once one puts the word/phrase into context. You can only break incorrect stress habits if your review of Anki flashcards helps you build new correct habits!)
  5. If you misstressed the word at any time during steps 1-4, click “Again” when you rate your performance on the card so Anki will schedule it for more frequent practice.

 

Anki Flashcard Front

differentiate

 

Anki Flashcard Back
differéntiate

[sound: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/En-us-differentiate.ogg]

 

1 Each time you review a flashcard, create a new sentence that you’ve never used before during Anki practice. This will help your brain become automatic at producing standard English much more than reusing your previously created sentences will. (Also, avoid creating sentences with any number above 12 that functions as an adjective to a following noun, because when the numbers 13-99 modify a following noun, their word stress changes so that all their syllables are stressed equallye.g. “sixty mínutes”). You don’t want to develop the bad habit of incorrectly stressing these numbers when they come before a noun (e.g. “síxty mínutes“) while you work to develop the good habit of consistently applying other word stress patterns!)


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