the history and background of teaching homophones


Grammar instruction in schools is normally approached from a regulation larning position and this leads to lessons that are tiring. In the yesteryear, the instruction method that was adopted was chiefly teacher-centered and this lead to the “drill and kill” type lessons, particularly when it came to linguistic communication and grammar. There is a common misconception that all acquisition should be serious in nature and that if one is holding fun while larning, it is really non larning ( Lee, 1995 ) . In fact, “many experienced text edition and methodological analysis manuals authors have argued that games are non merely time-filling activities but have a great educational value” ( Uberman, 1998 ) . Most linguistic communication games make scholars use the linguistic communication alternatively of believing about larning the correct signifiers ( Lee, 1986 ) . There are many advantages of utilizing different techniques such as games, images, group work etc. in the schoolroom. These techniques can take down anxiousness which makes the acquisition of input more likely and in a relaxed acquisition atmosphere scholars remember things faster and better ( Uberman, 1998 ) . They are extremely actuating and entertaining, and they can give diffident pupils more chance to show their sentiments and feelings ( Uberman, 1998 ) . Different techniques are an first-class manner to interrupt the usual modus operandi of the schoolroom ( Lee, 1995 ) .

In this essay different techniques to learning linguistic communication construction and/or vocabulary will be explored. To exemplify how these different techniques can be used illustrations will be given. The linguistic communication construction which will be focused on in this essay is homophones. Homophones are words which sound the same but are spelt otherwise and have different significances ( gay = same, phone = sound ) . Due to this it is a linguistic communication construction that many scholars misuse and misunderstand. Homophones can be taught in a figure of merriment and exciting ways. This essay will explicate how to learn homophones to a grade three category over four 45 minute lessons. Each lesson will move as a follow up of the old lesson.

This will be the introductory lesson to homophones. The intent of this lesson is to present homophones to the scholars in a fun manner that will maintain the scholars interested. This lesson involves group work. Group work is good technique as it involves the scholars themselves and all scholars participate, giving everyone an equal chance to help in their and their equals larning experience. In this lesson the instructor acts as a facilitator which means that scholars are non simply given the replies but need to happen them for themselves.

The instructor will present the lesson by passing out a brassy card to each scholar in the category. These will be handed out upside down so scholars can non see what word they have received. Once all the scholars have a card the instructor will inquire scholars to look at their word. The instructor will so inquire scholars to happen the individual in the category that has the same sounding word but that word means something else ( i.e. homophone ) . This activity will be noisy but the instructor must maintain it every bit controlled as possible. Once the scholars have found their homophone spouse scholars must sit on the mat with their spouse. The instructor will look into that scholars are partnered right and if non they must maintain looking. A clip bound of five proceedingss should be kept in order to maintain control. Once all scholars have found their spouses and are settled on the mat the instructor will name one brace up at a clip. The scholars will demo their words to the category and state them out burden so they can hear they sound the same. The scholars will so be asked to give the significance of their word so they can see that even though the two words sound the same they have different significances. This activity can be done with bigger categories by adding images to the word brace. This will intend that four scholars will necessitate to happen each other. For illustration: the word son/sun and a image of a immature male child with a parent and the Sun in the sky.

To reason this lesson the instructor will explicate that in each group/pair the words that they have matched up are called homophones and this will be explained to the scholars.

This lesson will do usage of images as a technique. “Pictures are various and utile resources for learning facets of grammar that require a structure-meaning match” ( Celce-Murcia & A ; Hilles, 1988 ) . Pictures add merriment and enjoyment and do the apprehension more solid as scholars can see the existent object being discussed.

To present the lesson the instructor will recap what a homophone is. The instructor will demo a blown up image to the category. This can be a image of the beach, for illustration, where a batch of activity is taking topographic point. Some illustrations of this could be a image of a bear on a beach ball and a bare kid. The homophones in the image will non be obvious to the scholars which will offend their involvement and do them believe. The instructor will so inquire the scholars to pull up a tabular array naming the different homophones they can happen. A clip bound can be placed in order to make a small competition for the stronger scholars. Once scholars have completed this, the instructor can travel through some of the replies the scholars came up with. After the replies have been discussed, a worksheet will be handed to each scholar which they will necessitate to finish. See appendix 1.

This lesson will do usage of narratives as a technique. “Stories are traditional in about all civilizations … [ which ] provides a realistic context for showing grammar points and holds and focuses pupils ‘ attending in a manner no other techniques can” ( Celce-Murcia & A ; Hilles, 1988 ) . Learners are inclined to listen to narratives more inventively and hence retrieve the narrative and knowledge learnt long after the lesson has ended ( Celce-Murcia & A ; Hilles, 1988 ) .

The instructor begins the lesson by reading the narrative from appendix two to the scholars. The instructor will so handout the worksheet to the scholars ( appendix 3 ) . The instructor will so read the narrative with the scholars once more while the scholars follow. The scholars will so be given a few proceedingss to read the narrative once more by themselves. Once the scholars have read the narrative they must follow the instructions on the worksheet. The 2nd portion of the worksheet requires scholars to go on the narrative some of the homophones provided. Learners “are fantastic storytellers” ( Celce-Murcia & A ; Hilles, 1988 ) and this creativeness should be encouraged. As a prep activity, appendix 4 will be used. This will consolidate what was done in the lesson.

Due to the fact that this is the last lesson on homophones for the hebdomad it will be more of a relaxed lesson every bit games as a technique will be used. Games “enable scholars to get new experiences … which are non ever possible during a typical lesson” ( Uberman, 1998 ) . It has been said that games are “a good manner of rehearsing linguistic communication, for they provide a theoretical account of what scholars will utilize the linguistic communication for in existent life in the future” ( Uberman, 1998 ) .

The game that will be played is called “Homophone Hop” . This game has been taken from Primary Resources ( 2010 ) . This is how the game works:

In braces or little groups scholars work their manner around a board utilizing a die and counters. When they land on the star squares they have to pick up a homophone card. One of the other kids will read out the card which will state, for illustration, “Which spelling is required for ‘their ‘ in this sentence? ‘The kids rushed to acquire their coats? ‘ Move an excess 5 infinites if you got it right” . The kid must place the correct homophone by spelling it aloud to their spouse. If they get it right, they will travel 5 infinites. If they do non, they stay where they are. The object of the game is to make the finish line foremost.

This game is a great manner to consolidate all the homophone cognition that was learnt during the hebdomad. It gives learners a opportunity to hold usage the cognition that they have dealt with and can utilize it in existent life footings.


As seen from the above activities there are many different ways to learn homophones. This therefore means that other linguistic communication constructions and/or grammar can besides be taught utilizing these different techniques. By utilizing these techniques, lessons will non be tiring and scholars will be more interested in larning new things. Language is really complex and frequently non an easy construct to acquire across. If instructors plan in front and take the clip to believe of new ways to learn linguistic communication, they will happen there are many grounds to why linguistic communication instruction does non hold to be from a regulation larning position, but instead from a interesting, and appealing position.