Tip and Tricks to Learn Homophones

Homophone game

English is a global language of business. Since over a decade there has been a push for this language in schools resulting in the rise of English medium schools. English seems to close the skill gap and offer employment opportunities. If your job requires you to be technically sound, your communication skills are also stressed upon in organizations with a global presence. If a language other than English is spoken at home, learning English in schools can be the best option. Switching to a secondary language can be challenging without adequate support. To ease the process, schools need to be equipped with multilingual teachers who can do more than just read from a textbook, especially since English is a tricky language.

What are ?homophones??

Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different meanings and different spellings. The root of the word, homo means ?same? and the root of phone means ?sound.? Homophones are an important topic in both vocabulary study and spelling units, especially for younger students.

For example, the words ?their?, ?there? and ?they?re? are homophones.
They are pronounced in the same way, have different meanings and have different spellings.
?They kept their side of the bargain.?
?There are ten apples in the basket.?
?They?re ambitious enough to take risks.?

Unlike most words, simply listening to homophones makes it is difficult to understand the actual meaning. It is easily understood when used in a sentence.

List of homophones:

Aloud ? allowedIdol ? idleSent ? scent ? cent
Banned ? band Isle ? aisle ? I?llSink ? sync
Buoy ? boyKnead ? kneed ? needSon ? sun
Cache ? cashKnows ? noseSuite ? sweet
Coarse ? courseHymn ? himTow ? toe
Compliment ? ComplementLoan ? loneThrough ? threw
Father ? fartherProfit ? ProphetTier ? tear
Grease ? GreeceReign ? rein ? rainTide ? tied
Herd ? heardRoute ? rootWaste ? waist
Heir ? airSees ? seas ? seizeWeight ? wait

Homophone games, activities and exercises

While getting a hang of homophones takes practice, they are often included in the list of confusing words. Games and activities help children to learn and practice while having fun. Some of the homophone activities are as follows:

? Match the sounds: Make two columns of homophones. Then match each sound on the right to those on the left.

? Guess the homophone: Form two teams and one representative from each team will write a word (with a homophone) on the board. The other team can reply with its homophone. The team that guesses the word earns a point. In this way, the team with the maximum points wins.

? Fill in the blanks: Make a list of sentences and leave blank spaces to fill the homophones.

Then make a list of homophones on the right side on the right side. The student can pick the appropriate homophone and fill in the blanks.

? Match the word with the picture: On the left side there is a picture and on the right side there are two homophones. You have to match the correct word with the picture. You can have a list of pictures and match the appropriate word. This will help the student to visualize an image with the word.

? Word search: Cut out 26 small squares of a paper/cardboard and write the alphabets on only one side of the square and color the other side of the square. Now add the squares to a bag and shake well to mix them. Empty the bag on the table. Some letters will be facing up and some will be turned down. Do not turn them back up. Set the timer to 2 minutes. You will need a paper and pen. From the letters facing up you can form words which have a homophone. Write as many homophones as possible within 2 minutes. The person with the most words wins.

This game can be played in two ways:

? Either you write only one word that has a homophone. For example, you can write red (although red has a homophone read which cannot be formed from the upward facing squares).

? Or you can write the word and its homophone. For example, you can write red and read which are easily formed from the tiles facing upwards.

? Use in a sentence: Make chits with homophone words mentioned on it. Form two teams for this game. One member from Team A has to pick a chit and form a sentence. Then this is followed by Team B. Use a timer of 10-15 seconds within which the participant has to form a sentence. The team with the maximum words wins.

Some useful tips to learn homophones

? Read books with homophones.

Book suggestions:

? ?How Much Can A Bare Bear Bear?? by Brian P. Cleary

? ?Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones? by Gene Barretta

? Keep a list of homophones when you learn them.

? Draw a mental image of the word.

? Use substitute words to make sense of the word. For instance, when using words such as ?buy? you can replace it with ?purchase.?

Difference between Homographs, Homophones and Homonyms

A homograph is a word that has the same spelling as another word but has a different meaning and sometimes a different sound.
For example, lead (to go in front of) ? lead (a metal)

A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but is spelled differently and has a different meaning:
For example, pray ? prey

A homonym is a word that has the same sound and same spelling as the other but has a different meaning.

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