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Pronunciation skills

by Jonathan Marks
Sound and spelling

Level: Pre-intermediate and above led / lead (lead guitar) d


pronunciation SKILLS teacher’s notes

Target age: Adults and teenagers red / read (I’ve read it) s
Set 2
Time needed: 10 minutes (x6)
scene / seen s
Summary: The relationship between spelling knows / nose s
and pronunciation in English can be confusing some / sum s
for a number of reasons. This activity focuses ski / sky d
on homographs (words with the same spelling once / ones d
but different pronunciation) and homophones suit / sweet d
(words with the same pronunciation but different sight / side d
spelling), as well as other pairs of words whose feel / fill d
pronunciation learners tend to find confusing. peach / pitch d
height / hate d
Procedure Set 3
way / weigh s
There are six sets of words, which you can use on
eyes / ice d
different occasions; one set is probably enough for one
oven / often d
lesson but of course, if the class are keen, you could
too / two s
use more.
out / ought d
1. Learners work on one set of words in pairs and want / won’t d
try to decide whether each pair of words has the fool / fuel d
same pronunciation or not. Tell students to mark bird / beard d
the pairs with s for ‘same pronunciation’ or d for fun / fan d
‘different pronunciation’. leaves (plural of leaf) / leaves (the bus leaves soon) s
2. Play the recording for the students to check. Set 4
3. Finally, go through the answers as a class. guest / guessed s
Note: In a few cases, the answer will be different in weak / week s
different accents of English, e.g. depending on whether place / plays d
‘r’ is sounded in words like court. (See rhotic and meet / meat s
homophone in the pronunciation glossary.) known / noun d
think / thing d
Alternative procedure weather / whether s
not / knot s
Alternatively, you could do the activity as a team game taught / thought d
in class. You could adjudicate yourself, or get learners wind (a strong wind) / wind (wind / rewind) d
to check each others’ answers by looking the words up
Set 5 Set 6
in dictionaries.
by / buy s bay / by s
Answer key new / knew s check / Czech s
there / their s cause / course d
s = same, d = different our / hour s higher / hire s
Set 1 right / write s witch / which s
check / cheque s choose / chews s
one / won s
pear / pier d beer / bear d
sun / son s
born / burn d bored / board s
eye / I s
wore / war s cent / scent s
too / toe d
curse / course d wear / where s
chef / chief d
boat / bought d
caught / court s
live (I live here) / live (live music) d
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W N IA

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2009


M W P
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SKILLS / Pronunciation / Pronunciation skills: Sound and spelling


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Pronunciation skills
by Jonathan Marks
Sound and spelling

Worksheet
pronunciation
subject title SKILLS worksheet

Are these pairs of words pronounced the same or differently? Write s for ‘same’ or d for ‘different’.

Set 1 Set 2
word same or different? word same or different?
one / won scene / seen
sun / son knows / nose
eye / I some / sum
too / toe ski / sky
chef / chief once / ones
boat / bought suit / sweet
caught / court sight / side
live (I live here) / feel / fill
live (live music) peach / pitch
led / lead (lead guitar) height / hate
red / read (I’ve read it)

Set 3 Set 4
word same or different? word same or different?
way / weigh guest / guessed
eyes / ice weak / week
oven / often place / plays
too / two meet / meat
out / ought known / noun
want / won’t think / thing
fool / fuel weather / whether
bird / beard not / knot
fun / fan taught / thought
leaves (plural of leaf) / leaves wind (a strong wind) /
(the bus leaves soon) wind (wind / rewind)

Set 5 Set 6
word same or different? word same or different?
by / buy bay / by
new / knew check / Czech
there / their cause / course
our / hour higher / hire
right / write witch / which
check / cheque choose / chews
pear / pier beer / bear
born / burn bored / board
wore / war cent / scent
curse / course wear / where

Now listen and check your answers.


D •
TE DE E
SI A L
EB LO B
W N IA

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2009


M W P
O DO O
FR BE C

SKILLS / Pronunciation / Pronunciation skills: Sound and spelling


T O
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CA