Steve Bridge


After Steve's first stint teaching EFL for three years in Tokushima City high schools and junior high schools on the JET Program, he returned to the U.S. and received an MA TESOL from St. Michael's College in his home state, Vermont. He has taught in IEPs in Wisconsin, Alabama, and Ohio, including three years with TraVerse English Language Training at The Ohio State University. Since September of last year, Steve has been a Global Teaching Fellow at Tokyo International University in Saitama, where he also serves on the Curriculum Committee. His interests include grammar, pronunciation, and TOEIC materials development, and he is currently a Member-at-Large with the JALT Materials Writers SIG.


Materials Writers /l/ vs. /ɹ/: Minimal pair challenges, vocabulary, and communication more

Sat, Jul 9, 14:40-15:05 Asia/Tokyo

Many Japanese English Language Learners (ELLs) have a hate-hate relationship with comprehending and pronouncing /l/ and /ɹ/ words, yet these two phonemes are an inescapable and integral part of the language. The fact that many /l/ words have an /ɹ/ minimal pair in the same part of speech (e.g., the nouns lack and rack) and the multiple vowel sounds of English necessitate learners’ recognizing and pronouncing those words accurately for successful understanding and communication. In helping Japanese ELLs face these /l/ vs. /ɹ/ challenges head-on, teachers can go beyond discrete minimal word pairs to minimal pair sentence contexts, introduce new vocabulary with accompanying images to enhance comprehension, and then help learners transition into communicative practice. The presentation will include a novel method of consciousness-raising about the correct tongue positions, and attendees will engage in fun, interactive, integrated-skills /l/ vs. /ɹ/ activities. These activities can be modulated as individual mini-lessons or extended into longer segments of academic, community, or workplace listening/speaking classes for learners at a range of proficiency levels. Attendees will be provided a set of PowerPoints, including embedded word and sentence pair audio, and the lessons are adaptable for one-on-one or group online or in-person classes.

Steve Bridge