AIM:  To explore and practise the effective use of phrasing in speech.

INTRODUCTION:  Using appropriate phrasing to separate thought groups makes it easier for both the speaker and the listener. This activity will help you identify thought groups and use phrasing effectively in your own speech.

INSTRUCTIONS:  First, download and print the depression monologue transcript.  Listen to this audio file and mark where the speaker pauses, using a slash '/' to indicate a pause (punctuation has been removed from the text).   Play 

  • Now read the text aloud and practise pausing in the same places.

  • Record yourself reading the text aloud (e.g. on your mobile phone).

  • Play it back – How does it sound? What problems did you have?

  • Listen to the native speaker again and highlight the stressed words.

  • Read it again and record yourself.

  • Compare the two recordings – Which is easier to understand and why?

    • Notice how stressed words tend to be nouns and verbs (content words).

    • Notice how it is generally better to pause after stressed, not unstressed, words.

  • Choose a different text and follow the same steps.



  • Choose one of these topics and plan how to present it to a patient.

  • Make an outline and practise it – focus on use of thought grouping and pausing.

    • how to stay healthy when traveling

    • how to manage diet and exercise

    • how to reduce or stop smoking

    • explain how a procedure happens (e.g. MRI, gastroscopy)

    • another topic of interest to you