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Pronunciation Activities

Minimal Pairs

Click here to see a selection of ideas to practise minimal pairs (words which differ in only one sound, such as "cat" and "cut"). There is also a minimal pairs list here if you want some ideas to use with the activities.

Sss, zzz and shhh

Click here for an activity to practise the sounds sss, zzz and shhh which can be a problem for most nationalities.


Click here for a worksheet to practise identifying and distinguishing between the spellings of 16 common homophones

Short Vowels (a, e, i, o and u) handout.

A short lesson plan to practise short vowel sounds.

Long Vowels (a, e, i, o and u) handout.

A short lesson plan to practise long vowel sounds (magic 'e').

Er, or and ah (/ɜ:/ /ɔ:/ and /ɑ:/) activities.

Activities to introduce "er", "or" and "ah" sounds, with spelling hints and lots of follow-on practice.

Pronunciation of words with "CH"

Some ideas for lessons to practise the /tʃ/, /ʃ/ and /k/ pronunciation of the letters 'ch'.

Ear and Air - pronunciation of /ɪə/ and /eə/

A handout to practise the /ɪə/ and /eə/ sounds.

Pronunciation of 'ea'.

Handouts and activities to practise seven differents ways to pronounce the letters 'ea'.

Pronunciation of 'ou', 'o' and 'u'.

A maze to encourage students to distinguish between the sounds for words with 'ou', 'o' and 'u' spelling.

pyramid puzzle

Vowel sounds puzzle

Click here for a pyramid jigsaw to test vowel sounds with confusing spellings (such as hurt and bird). British accents vary quite widely in their pronunciation of vowels (this puzzle is just for RP) so with higher levels you could discuss how pronunciation might change with region (e.g. laugh = heart or hat depending on where you come from). Answers are here.

To make your own similar puzzles, go to the Formulator Tarsia website, and download the puzzle making software. It's aimed at maths teachers but works well for language too.

Learn the Phonemic Chart

This is a really fun website which helps you to learn the phonemic chart. I only wish it had been around when I did my diploma, as the games are brilliant.

Regional accents in the UK

The British Library have a project at the moment, recording regional accents and dialects, so if you ever need examples of different accents, this is the place to go.

If you are interested in teaching pronunciation, "Pronunciation Games" by Mark Hancock has lots of pronunciation teaching ideas.