Easy Tongue Twisters for ESL Beginners
Level: Beginner to Pre-Intermediate
Tongue twisters can be fun to focus on for 5/10 minutes as warm up or at the end of an English class.
This worksheet contains 7 English tongue twisters. I made it for the grade 6 students at my Japanese school. These are not the most difficult tongue twisters in English. The tongue twisters start easy and get a bit harder by the end of the sheet. A few of them focus on the pronunciation of L-R sounds (e.g. Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry) and the S-SH sounds (e.g. Sea vs She). This is useful pronunciation practice for Japanese students of English in particular.
Here is a preview of the worksheet:
Tongue Twister Contest
- First, assign points to each tongue twister according to its difficulty (you can do this by modifying the worksheet). Write a number of points beside each tongue twister, print it out and give it to your students.
- Practice them (to start, maybe only work with the top 3 tongue twisters).
- Divide the students in groups of 3 or 4.
- Each group then gets a chance to try one tongue twister. One group member picks a tongue twister and then says it aloud. After he/she is done, one member from each other groups has a chance to say it. The team with the student who pronounces it the best gets the points.
- The team who gets the points gets to choose which tongue twister to do next.
Note: Don’t let the advanced students take all the turns. Each member should have a turn at saying a tongue twister.
Tongue Twister Race
Another idea is to have a tongue twister race. After the students are more familiar with the tongue twisters, you can have them do a race. You need a stopwatch for this activity.
- Put the students in groups.
- Have them do rock-paper-scissors to decide who goes first.
- The members of the first group then try to say all the tongue twisters, one after another, as fast as they can.
- The other groups then try to beat this time.
- The group with the fastest time wins.
This activity might be better suited for more advanced students with more complex tongue twisters that are longer and difficult to say in sequence.
– Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com