With Minimal Pair scenes I was trying to link some of the knowledge I gained from a wonderful day spent at a pre-convention institute called: "Essentials of Pronunciation Teaching and Learning" at TESOL 2018 in Chicago, and my work fusing drama and language instruction. The session was headed by these amazing educators:
Donna M. Brinton, Educational Consultant, Beverly Hills, California, USA
Lynn Henrichsen, Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Tamara Jones, Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland, USA
Colleen Meyers, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Carolyn Quarterman, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
One thing that was introduced at this session was using minimal pairs to support pronunciation. Minimal pairs are pairs of words with one phonemic difference only--such as nice and rice, or light and right. These can help students with stress, articulation and intelligibility practice. I created an activity where students used some selected minimal pairs to create a "scene". Here were the instructions I gave and the words they could choose from:
Read through the pairs of words. Notice that all that has changed is that the letter l in the first word has been replaced by the letter r, or the letters rr. What do you notice?
Create a scene that uses some of the following word pairs. Your scene can take place anywhere and you and your scene partners will use other words of course, but you are to highlight from these pairs. It is required that everyone in your scene speaks and uses these pairs. Your scene can emphasize one or more pairs.
Select from these word pairs:
Above are some examples of the scenes they created.