Go fullscreen

ESL Accents Lesson Plan

Why You Have An Accent In A Foreign Language

Student Level


Video Length: 2:58

Updated on: 08/30/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

Icon for Google note This lesson comes available in our new Google Slide E-Lesson Version!

Unlocking this lesson costs 1 credit and will give you full access to the printable lesson plan, interactive lesson plan, and teacher's guide. Click here to get credits.

ESL Accents Lesson Plan Description


This ESL accents lesson plan on stress patterns and phonology contains PDF worksheets, activities, and digital materials for upper intermediate B2 and advanced C1 students. By the end of the lesson, students will understand and be able to interpret a variety of phonological features of languages, as well as use a special pronunciation stress pattern in English called contrastive stress. 


This ESL accents lesson plan starts off with students listening to a variety of non-native English speakers speak with a foreign accent, and then they must guess where these speakers are from based on their accents. Students then express their opinion and thoughts about some statements about foreign accents. In the final activity for the preview part of the lesson, students explore some ideas about the phonology of their native language and compare them with English language.


Students engage in one more brief, preview discussion question about the phonology of their native language, and then proceed to watch an informative report about foreign accents. In the video, the speaker covers some reasons as to why people have accents when they speak a foreign language, as well as some different phonological features unique to some language. In the viewing and listening activities, students listen for some key information about these phonological features, as well as choose the word they hear the speaker use in context.


After watching the video, there are some discussion questions prepared for students to explore the topic of accents a bit more in detail. The lesson then moves on to a special stress pattern used in English, known as contrastive stress. In the exercises, students practice reading sentences out loud and put stress on certain highlighted words in the sentence. There is a matching activity included in which students must match the correct answers to certain questions based on where the stress is in the question.


As the final activity in the lesson, students choose one of 5 sentences, and they must create a mini-dialogue based on that sentence and where the stress is in a certain word. They then conduct the dialogue together with a classmate, or with the teacher, and place stress on that word. In the second part, students choose another word in the same sentence, put stress on that word, and create another mini-dialogue. This gives them the foundation to compare their dialogues and how the meanings/context can differ when the stress is placed on another word.

Benefits of using this ESL accents and pronunciation lesson plan:

This lesson provides you an interesting topic for ESL learners and the opportunity to help train your students' pronunciation and reduce their accents using contrastive stress patterns in English. This is a common issue some ESL learners may experience when speaking English.

Learning English stress patterns, pronunciation, and the nuances of accents is a necessary skill for clear communication. Contrastive stress helps learners emphasize key information in sentences, enhancing their ability to communicate effectively and ensuring their intended message is clear to listeners. Learning these stress patterns also allows learners to mimic the natural rhythms and intonations of native English speakers, making their speech sound more natural and fluent.


Video Description

Ever wondered why it's so hard to sound like a local when you go on holiday? Discover the pronunciation tips your teachers may have missed.

Lesson Activities


Accents, Phonology, English Language


Phonological Features of Languages, Key Words/Phrases, Word Choice


Accents, Phonology


Accents, Pronunciation, Contrastive Stress, Mini-Dialogue, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Accents, Phonology, English Language, Pronunciation, Stress Patterns

Lesson Preview

Similar Lessons