From Teflpedia

Backchaining is a technique particularly well-suited to teaching linking and intonation and to help learners with pronunciation of phrases and sentences which they may find difficult to understand.


The teacher says the whole phrase at normal speed once and then repeats the last word, or even group of sounds, consonant cluster, etc. only as a reference. The students then have to repeat whatever the teacher says, reconstructing the sequence by starting from that last word/sound, and linking weak forms, etc. The activity continues until the students have correctly pronounced the complete sequence and can reproduce the desired sentence/phrase "the right way round":

  • Teacher: What did you do yesterday?... yesterday
    • Students: yesterday
  • T: do yesterday
    • S: do yesterday
  • T: you do yesterday
    • you do yesterday
  • T: did you do yesterday
    • S: did you do yesterday
  • T: What did you do yesterday?
    • S: What did you do yesterday?

While possibly not an immediate priority, with practice, teachers should be able to make natural "breaks" (see linking and intonation above) incorporating whole, natural phrases that lead to students speaking more fluently.

External links[edit]

British Council Teaching English