Curing “th” pronunciation problems

It’s almost like a real job this going round so many cities doing workshops!

Today the teachers were asking for help with the “th” pronunciation – always a tricky one is just about every country!

The easiest way to do it, by far, is with the “4th, 5th, 6th”  song on the Download Pack version of the  Where is your birthday? software.

Get them to practice sticking their tongues out first, and (jokingly of course!) tell them to lick the head of the person in front of them as they say it!

Do make sure you tell them it’s a joke before anyone actually does it though!! 🙂

And if you add in the hand gestures it’s makes a very fun pronunciation lesson.

Check out the video, as you can see it works just as well for adults as kids!

Game time!

A good game for this is to get them to line up in order of their birthday, Jan 1st at one side of the room Dec 31st at the other and everyone in order in between.

They do this by asking each other Where is your birthday? and answering with all those “th” sounds!

They get a *lot* of practice and like with all Genki English Manual games you get to wander round the class checking who needs what help with which parts.

Phonics “th”

And once you’ve done this it makes things a lot easier when you come to the “th” sounds in the Phonics Course.

What do you think?  Can you do all the gestures above? 🙂  Do let us know in the comments!

Be genki,


P.S.  Thank you to everyone who came on Saturday in Bangkok, it was fantastic to see so many amazing people using Genki English!  This coming Sunday is a workshop in Surat Thani, so do get in touch if you’d like to join us!


Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

One Response to “Curing “th” pronunciation problems”

  1. Margit

    This song is great for here, as kids have their “personal” numbers in school. So, I always do the song:
    Stand up when it is your number, and then sit down when it is your birthday.”
    They really like this.

    The”th” however I find tricky.
    I figured out, if I make them too aware of the “sticking out the tongue” they start rolling it inside out and it turns out to be a very tensed weird s sound. As my team teacher was very tough on pronunciation last year, I’ve noticed a lot, and what I realized at a total is, that “relaxation” is most important. If they have the tongue in the right place and then just breeze correctly, the sound becomes great!

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