let the flapping begin
Ask the children to pronounce their own names without making their enhanced lips move. Start with first names and then move on to full names. Are there any childrenʼs names that can be pronounced without significant movement of the lips? If so record them as well as the names that cause the most movement. Save these for later, because they will provide a basis in principle for the identification of the central and back consonants in another exercise.
You can also challenge the children to recite the alphabet or recite a nursery rhyme that
everyone knows in such a way that their lips donʼt move, and videotape the results.
You cannot lose in this exercise. No matter who is in your class, you will have a wide
range of lip-moving and non-lip-moving names. If you are really lucky, you will have
some children whose names contain decidedly un-English sounds. You should
encourage the genuine and distinct pronunciation of such sounds, as it will help further
along when the vowel and consonant charts are constructed. But even if you have a
ventriloquist-in-training in the class, you will be the beneficiary of her expertise in
residence. Relax. What you are looking for are the teachable moments, the points of
entry for a discussion of the sounds of English, the occasions of similarity and difference
One more thing. If nobody is laughing, there's something wrong!