S and TH minimal pairs
Here are some more minimal pairs activities for pronunciation practice. These words differ in one sound, that being S and TH. They are perfect for targeting and improving these sounds for students who struggle with them. By using these activities you can help teach these S and TH minimal pairs in a fun way that is often otherwise boring.
First of we have flashcards that can be used for all sorts of games. There is also a pronunciation guide, a word list to create your own activities, and some fun practice sentences. Finally, there are some links to useful related resources here at ESL Vault.
S and TH minimal pairs pronunciation guide
If you need any guidance on how to shape your mouth and tongue, and the ways to blow air to make the S and TH sounds here is some advice.
The S sound is voiceless, this simply means that you don’t use your vocal chords. You should feel no buzzing or vibration in your throat as you are only pushing air through your mouth.
To start, put the tip of your tongue at the front of your mouth and make the sides of your tongue touch your top teeth. Then, gently blow air through your mouth and through your teeth.
The words in these minimal pairs cards use the hard or unvoiced TH sound. This sound is somewhat more challenging and can be especially difficult for non-native English speakers.
To make this sound you need to put the tip of your tongue between your top and bottom front teeth. Blow air out your move over the top of your tongue and through your teeth. Again there should be no vibration in your throat.
Word list for S and TH minimal pairs
Here is a word list that uses minimal pairs with S and TH. It includes words that are not on the flashcards and may come in handy if you want more vocabulary to practice with. It can also be useful to help you make your own pronunciation materials.
|bass - bath||face - faith||force - fourth||gas - gaff|
|gross - growth||kiss - kith||mass - math||miss - myth|
|moss - moth||mouse - mouth||Norse - North||pass - path|
|placing - plaything||purse - Perth||race - wraith||sank - thank|
|saw - thaw||seam - theme||sick - thick||sickness - thickness|
|sigh - thigh||sin - thin||sing - thing||sink - think|
|sinker - thinker||sis - scythe||size - thighs||sluice - sleuth|
|some - thumb||song - thong||sore - Thor||sort - thought|
|suds - thuds||sum - thumb||sump - thump||sunder - thunder|
|symbol - thimble||tense - tenth||truce - truth||unsinkable - unthinkable|
|use - youth||worse - worth|
Fun S and TH minimal pairs practice sentences
You can get your students to read these fun silly sentences for more pronunciation practice. Once they are done, give them some minimal pairs and see if they can create their own.
Look at the size of his thighs!
The Norse went north to pass the path.
The youth use a thimble as a symbol.
I sort of thought there was a mouse in your mouth.
A sick moth on thick moss.