Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Minimal Pairs

Ha! I just came across the abstract of an article which reinforces my opinion of the use of minimal pairs in teaching pronunciation.

According to Adam Brown in his essay, “Minimal pairs: minimal importance?”,

Minimal pairs spring to many teachers' minds when the topic of pronunciation teaching is raised. They also form the focus of many course-books on pronunciation. This article [in the ELT Journal] argues that minimal pairs do not merit this attention. There are other aspects of pronunciation which are of greater importance, and there are other ways of teaching vowel and consonant pronunciation.

ELT Journal 1995 49(2):169-175
Retrieved March 12, 2008, from

Unfortunately the entire article is not available to those without a subscription to the ELT Journal. I, for one, plan to do further research into this area.

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