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Carol Graham trains teachers how to use jazz chants to teach pronunciation. They’re great energizers and get learners speaking faster than they can think – one of the elements of fluency.

I’ll be doing some jazz chants in the telephoning part of a compact course next week, first giving them some jazz chant minis (see below), and then having them notice stress patterns as we start using each phrase (i.e. finding the onset and tonic syllables, trying out how the meaning changes when patterns change). Carol Graham says it’s very difficult for non-native speakers to put together jazz chants, so if they do discover rhythm patterns on their own, going as far as making their own chants, that’s very impressive.  Anyway, I’ll give them short chants, like these:

  • Hold on, __ I’ll put you through. OK, I’ll get back to you.
  • I’ll fax it to you. I’ll give you a call. I’ll call you right back. No, I’ll wait for your call.
  • Let me see if he’s in. I think he’s gone out. He’ll be back at 1. Shall I have him call you?
  • I’ll make sure she gets your message. Let me see what I can do. I’ll make sure she calls you back. Let me read that back to you.

I like having learners get up and clap their hands or snap their fingers, or do arm movements to go with these.

Vicki Hollett recently made a lovely jazz chant video that includes karaoke, for the language of making appointments here.

Warning!