l and w minimal pairs

L and W minimal pairs with 32 free picture cards

L and W minimal pairs

Here is another set of minimal pairs resources for pronunciation practice and speech therapy. There are picture cards with words, pronunciation guides, a word list and example sentences all about the L and W minimal pairs.

These words are of course minimal pairs because they differ in only 1 sound. They are great for targetting any weak areas in students’ speech, as an added bonus you’ll find that new vocabulary will be picked up along the way.

The picture cards with words above and below can be used in all forms of flashcard games or for simple rote learning. The visuals really help to keep learning activities interesting!

Pronunciation of the L and W sounds

To make the L sound put the back of your tongue on the roof of the back of your mouth. Using your vocal cords push air through your mouth. Quickly drop your tongue and let air slide over the sides of your tongue as it flows out your mouth.

To make the W sound make your lips round and tight together in a puckered fashion. As you use your voice quickly relax your lips.

L and W minimal pairs list

Note that these are all minimal pairs in the initial sound. (The first sound of each word is how they are different)

laced - waste lag - wag lair - wear lake - wake
lamb - wham late - wait later - waiter law - war
lay - way lead - wed lead - weed leading - weeding
leak - weak lean - wean leap - weep leary - weary
leather - weather leave - weave ledge - wedge leek - week
lei - weigh lent - went lest - west let - wet
letter - wetter lever - weaver lick - wick lie - why
lied - wide lies - wise life - wife light - white
lighten - whiten lighting - whiting limp - wimp line - wine
liner - whiner lining - whining link - wink lip - whip
liquor - whicker lit - wit little - whittle lizard - wizard
lock - wok loom - womb lyre - wire

Practice sentences

Here are some fun sentences that you can use to practice the minimal pairs L and W.

The white light was on the wizard’s lizard.

We will wake by the lake eating leek next week.

It is good weather for leather.

His lies weren’t wise for the law of the war.

A weak lock and a leaking wok.

Lick the wick and make the letter wetter.

Why lie about the weak leak?

Related activities

If you are looking for more materials to practice these 2 target sounds, check out the L tongue twisters and the tongue twisters with W.

For more minimal pairs have a look at the numerous resources in the pronunciation section here at ESL Vault or simply use the search bar!

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