The purpose of this research is to determine to what extent the elementary school activities that are related to the teaching of accents lead to an improvement of students’ competencies in that area. The prosodic norm is one of the aspects of the Standard Croatian language that is the most difficult to learn. The main reason for this is that the Croatian dialects are highly variable in regard to accent; there are dialects that are tonal, with a prosodic repertoire that consists of four accents (long-falling, long-rising, short-falling, short-rising) and a post-tonic length (this is also the prosodic repertoire of the standard variety of Croatian), and there are dialects that do not have tones, but rather only a stress accent, and in which the accented syllable in words is often different from the accented syllable in Standard Croatian (for example, the dialect spoken in Zagreb). As for the distribution of the accents in the Croatian language, Škarić states that the dictionaries of the Croatian language contain 48.6 % of words with short-rising accent, 25.5 % of words with long-rising accent, 21.4 % of words with short-falling accent, and 4.5 % of words with longfalling accent. The Croatian language is a common name for all Southwestern-Slavic dialects and standard varieties of these dialects, which Croatians have used in the past or use today. The Croatian language is realized in Croatian dialects, the standard variety of Croatian, as well as substandard idioms (Bičanić et al., 2013). At the time of the arrival of Croats to the area on which they still live today (6th to 7th century), the language in use was Old Croatian. During the next few centuries it had evolved fairly quickly to the point when, in the Middle Ages, there were three dialects spoken on the Croatian territory: Čakavian, Štokavian and Kajkavian. Although the Croatian literary tradition sprung to life on the Čakavian dialect in the works of Marko Marulić, and then it continued to evolve in the works on the Kajkavian dialect, Štokavian was selected as the base for the standard variety of the Croatian language at the time Croatian became the official language of Croatia, on 23 October 1847. The Croatian accentuation has also had a long historic development. In the NewŠtokavian languages up to do 15th century the accents were only stress accents, long and short (Škarić, 1991: 324). In the 15th and 16th century a part of the Štokavian dialects underwent the socalled New-Štokavian innovations, which had a significant impact on the physiognomy of the contemporary standard language (Bičanić et al. 2013). From the 15 th century the strength of the accents began to transfer one syllable forward, lowering that syllable, while the old syllable with the accent retained the high tone. Such transfer of the accent is called “weakened” transfer, to differentiate it from the “non-weakened” transfer in which the accent is transferred forward to the initial syllable of the word both in strength and tone. The transfer of the accent from one syllable to the other is called metataxis, and the change in the tone of the syllable with the accent is called metatony. Therefore the weakened transfer of the accent is both metatonic and metataxic, while the non-weakened is only metataxic. In the grammatical manuals there were three accents up to the Šime Starčević’s Grammatic, in which the author was the first to note four accents which have remained up to this day when the prosodic norm has been established and prescribed in the most recent Croatian normative works. In the process of teaching a language, and also teaching the prosodic system, the educational system of a country plays an important role. Therefore this research explores the history of the Croatian school system. Until the second half of the 18th century both in European and in territorially divided Croatian land, there had been no school system as a training and educational subsystem of society, so the Catholic Church played an important role by founding and maintaining schools on all levels (Švoger and Župan, 2021: 10). The school system in Croatia was organized by numerous religious and monastic orders, such as Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, Paulines, Sisters of Mercy, Poor Clares and Ursulines. The Jesuits described their school system in the curriculum Ratio studiorum in 1586, and in the first decades of the 17th century they opened high schools in numerous Croatian cities, thus enabling mass education for young men of all classes and improving the position of the citizen class. The education system on the state level was more seriously ordered during the reign of Maria Theresia (1740–1780) by the decree on the General School Order in 1774. This decree was soon replaced by the new Hungarian curriculum, namely Ratio educationis of 1777. After a few failed attempts, the first law regarding the school system was made in 1874 at the Croatian Parliament, known as the Act of 14 October 1874, during Mažuranić’s school reform, which served as the means by which Croatia independently and autonomously decided on the arrangement of its school system, introducing mandatory four-year elementary school. A new, unique school act was created in the form of the School Act of 1888. New school acts were introduced in 1919 and 1929, and, in parallel, new curricula were introduced in 1926, 1933, 1941 and 1944. After World War II, mandatory seven-year education was introduced, followed by new school acts in 1951 and 1959. After the democratic changes in 1990, new textbooks and manuals were issued and printed. New curricula were published in 1991, 1999 and 2006. The curriculum of 2006 was based on the Croatian National Educational Standard (Hrvatski nacionalni obrazovni standard, HNOS). The new National Curriculum for Elementary School Education came into effect in 2018, followed by curricula for different school subjects, among which there was the Curriculum for the School Subject Croatian Language for Elementary and Secondary Schools in 2019. This research analyzes the approach to the prosodic system during the history of the Croatian school system and the curricula from 1874 to 2018/2019. The older the curricula were, the more attention was given to the teaching of prosody in the first years of elementary school, while in more senior years prosody was considered learned. The most distinctive of all curricula when it comes to prosody was the Plan and Program of Elementary School Education of 1983, in which teaching prosody was presented as a branch of its own, teaching students the elements of accents gradually from the 5th to the 8th grade. In the same work, teachers and public speakers were presented as good role models of correct speech, and their role in helping students master the standard four-accent system, a system which was new and difficult to learn for non-Štokavian (and some Štokavian) speakers, was considered a vital prerequisite for teaching prosody. In 2019 the Curriculum for the School Subject Croatian Language for Elementary and Secondary Schools was published, according to which prosody lessons were taught in the 7th grade, and students were expected to pronounce the words correctly in accordance with the prosodic system of the Standard Croatian language and to interconnect words into larger units and sentences using the correct accent and intonation on the sentence level. This research describes the methodology of teaching Croatian accents in textbooks and workbooks. Methodology of teaching is a scientific discipline which studies systems, strategies, procedures and other means and conditions of teaching and learning by which students come to new educational cognitions, i.e. cognitions which students achieve during the educational process. These cognitions are made by teaching and learning well-known and valid scientific and empirical truths and content which are included in the curriculum of the school subjects to which the methodology of teaching refers (Bežen, 2008: 177). Parallel to the development of educational activities was the development of pedagogy, which eventually became the theory of education, thus separating itself from these activities. The practical function of pedagogy in the training of teachers was taken over first by didactics. However, with the emergence of school subjects and teachers specialized and educated to give classes of certain subjects, didactics became the general theory of teaching, while the theory and practice of the educational process, i.e. the way certain subjects are taught, was assigned to the respective methodologies of these subjects (Bežen, 2008: 346). This research especially studies the methods of teaching accents which should contribute to not partial, but complete adoption of the standard four-accent system of the Croatian language. By providing an insight into the set of textbooks of the Croatian language for elementary school from 2006 to the Curriculum of 2019, the methodological material of prosody lessons is analyzed to demonstrate the depth and complexity of teaching accents to students to help them improve their prosodic competencies. Different textbooks offer the same structure of prosody lessons. The lessons contain the phase of preparation (the educational situations are presented as the following: exploring the motivation of students; refreshing their pre-existent knowledge of the terms sound, letter, syllable, word, vowels, consonants; announcing future educational tasks; and preparing the example text), followed by working on the example text, acknowledging new language facts, detecting the characteristics of these new language facts, generalizing the cognitions on the new language facts, exercises (to make use of the new knowledge), repeating the newly learned content (synthesis of knowledge), and assigning homework. Based on the analysis of the material in workbooks, it can be concluded that the workbooks contain examples of tasks formed in such a way for the students to be able to gradually adopt and achieve their educational goals and outcomes in the field of prosody. The tasks also show a diverse approach to the ways in which students acquire prosodic competencies. Some tasks lack precise instructions for the students to independently solve tasks and put the acquired competencies to good use, while in other tasks the students are expected to perform several linguistic actions related to prosodic competencies in a single task. In many tasks the students are asked to mark the accent on a word or speak a word without having heard the correct pronunciation of the word. None of the workbooks contain tasks which are ordered systematically so that the students can achieve one educational outcome by solving a series of tasks which refer to all of the levels of learning according to Bloom’s taxonomy. Only one workbook contains tasks divided into groups I, II and III, which means that the competencies in these groups are gradually learned in accordance with Bloom’s taxonomy. On the other hand, in one workbook the tasks are grouped under the titles I RECOGNIZE (theoretical level) and I APPLY (examples in which students perform a single activity). Except for the methodologies of languages as classified and described in detail by Težak (1996), the author of this research used other methods which she considers to be more effective in acquiring prosodic competencies. These are the following methods: deduction, impersonating a speech role model, reciting in a choir, pronouncing pseudowords, clapping/jumping in place and correction of wrongly pronounced accents. All exercises which the author performs in her classes with students are described in more detail in the appendices to the research. The experimental part of the research investigates to what extent teaching students in elementary schools in Zagreb, 7th and 8th grade, the standard prosodic system affects their acquiring of competencies to correctly pronounce the accents according to the correct accented syllable and variety as prescribed by the rules of standard tonal prosodic system. The subjects from the Zagreb area find it difficult to learn the four-accent prosodic system because there is no rising accent in their organic idiom. Magner (1966) states that for the typical Kajkavian dialect of the center of Zagreb the essential prosodic phonological characteristic is that there are no oppositions in tone and quantity of accents. The expiratory accent is applied to any syllable of the word, and the place of the accent in numerous words does not change in comparison to its place in the base word form. Kapović describes the contemporary urban prosodic system of Zagreb as having one dominant accent, dynamic, marked by force of speech only, no tonal contrasts; phonetically it is half-long, often without distinctive length, and the place of the accent is mostly uniform. It also rarely uses the opposition by length, which is then used to differentiate among words. In the first experiment of this research, conducted in 2013/2014, there were 82 students as participants of the research (53 students in the experimental group and 29 students in the control group which did not participate in prosodic exercises). On the other hand, in the second experiment, conducted in 2016/2018, 34 students participated in the research. In both experiments the prosodic competencies of the students were recorded before and after conducting the accent exercises, which were integrated into the classes of the Croatian language. The acoustic material was analyzed by ear and partially by an acoustic analysis software, and the data was analyzed statistically. The results of the first phase of the research show that the experimental group (N = 53) improved the accuracy of the pronunciation of the accented syllable by 22.7 %, while the control group’s accuracy decreased by 3.2 %. The results of the second phase of the research show that continuously working on prosodic competencies results in an improvement in the learning of tones (for 8.4 %), accent duration (for 15.6 %) and post-tonic length (for 26.6 %). The results confirm the claim in recent research about the difficult and incomplete learnability of the standard prosodic system for the students who live in Zagreb, but show that prosodic competencies of the pronunciation of standard accents can improve with methodically well-formulated and continuous accent teaching.