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Pronunciation Game: Minimal Pairs Pyramid Activity and Listening Quiz

Minimal Pairs are words that sound similar but one phonological element is different in the two words. For example, glamour and grammar sound extremely similar. But they are different with the /r/ and /l/ sounds.

In the pronunciation game, students have to keep a keen ear on what they hear. For example, we use minimal pairs which are similar sounding words with one different phonological element.

First, they start at the top of the pyramid. Next, the teacher says the word, and students have to circle it. Meanwhile, this process continues until everyone reaches the bottom. Finally, there’s only one spot where everyone should finish.

As the teacher, you have to keep track of where the final landing spot should be. Check your students’ understanding. Finally, review the minimal pairs by practicing each sound in an entire classroom.

Pronunciation Game: Minimal Pairs Examples

  • Grammar / Glamour
  • Fender / Vendor
  • Sick / Thick
  • Rock / Lock
  • Breath / Breeze
  • Royal / Loyal
  • Mouth / Mouse
  • Fast / Vast

Related Minimal Pairs and Pronunciation Worksheets

If you need more minimal pairs and pronunciation worksheets, see our free printable activity sheets below.


  1. I taught ESL in China for a decade and continue to do so online. Now I use Zoom to teach online and I try to take notes in the “Chat” area. After class, the Chat is saved and I copy & paste it to Wechat. Wechat is China’s version of What’s App, Facebook, etc. As I post the vocabulary I record my voice pronouncing words, or reading sentences.

    Audio files would be nice, but I hope my suggestion might be of assistance.

  2. Hi,
    I was just wondering why there is NO audio files at all in your lessons. I teach ESL among others and if I want to give exercises to my students to train but there is no audio for them to do so…
    Thank you

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