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Number of posts : 95
Age : 63
Location : Ouled-Djellal
Registration date : 2008-09-25

PostSubject: MINIMAL PAIRS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSES.   Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:32 am

No doubt that all the teachers of languages are aware of the importance of a ' good pronunciation' and its impact on communication. Teaching pronunciation has always been a serious task. At the level of Middle School, one needs to go smoothly and surely:

- Teach sounds.
- Practice sounds.
- Expose learners.
- Offer them opportunities for permanent practice...

One of the efficient activities is MINIMAL PAIRS.

What are minimal pairs?
How can they be effective?
How to present them?

Minimal pairs are pairs of words that have one phonological element that is different.
Example: bat bet

In the above case, the vowel sound of both words is the different phonological element.

Practicing minimal pairs can:

- help students localize the often minute differences in pronunciation between one word and another.
- Help students practice the finer elements of common muted vowel sounds.

The following lesson provides a lesson outline .

Aim: To improve recognition and pronunciation skills of single words.

Activity: Minimal Pair practice.

Level: Any level needing to improve pronunciation skills.


Write examples of minimal pairs on the board. If students have learned the IPA, it is a good idea to employ the phonetic transcriptions of the words on the board.
Demonstrate the correct pronunciation of the minimal pairs written on the board.
Elicit students to give examples of other words which use the same changing phonemes.
Example: bat - bet (written on board) student: "cat - kept"
It is a good idea to accept more than one phonological difference as long as the target phoneme has been reproduced.
Distribute minimal pair sheet.
For lower levels: Reproduce the minimal pairs in chorus by first giving the example and then having students repeat together.
For upper levels: Have students work in pairs taking turns reproducing the minimal pairs.
Repeat as many times as you feel necessary.
Have students use the minimal pairs sheet as a model to produce another, similar, minimal pair sheet.
Extend activity into a game, by having students distribute their minimal pair sheets to other pairs.

Added activity:
If students are proficient in the IPA, have students transcribe the minimal pairs as a means of strengthening their knowledge of the IPA.

The following PDF file can be a reference:

download it:

The following can be of great help:

Adapted by: Habba Mohamed.

Last edited by Mohamed07 on Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:51 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : add link)
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