Phonemes are the smallest possible sounds in a language which have a distinct meaning.
So what does that mean in practice?
Well, take these two words:
kiss – miss
When we say them, the only difference is the very first sound of each word:
k and m
This means that those two sounds, k and m, are phonemes because when one changes to the other, the…
Minimal Pairs are pairs of words (and sometimes phrases) which differ in their sound by just one element.
They are an incredibly useful tool in the TEFL teachers’ bag and if you haven’t started yet, you should learn about them and use them!
Mostly minimal pairs are used as pronunciation practice where the meaning of the word is not really important at all – it’s the…