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August 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 4

ISSN 1755-9715

To-Too-Two, Price-Prize, See-Sea

Johanna received  the Master of Applied Linguistics from La Trobe University, Australia 2002. She has presented many papers in national and international conferences and published numerous articles, book chapters and textbooks.



English words are often confusing for EFL students. Some sound alike but they have different spellings and meanings. There are also some words with dual sounds and multiple meanings.















Pryle (2000) states that the English language has the most with over 600 homophone families. Readence, Baldwin, & Head (1986) state while multiple-meaning words can also cause confusion for native language speakers, this phenomenon is often extremely difficult for English-language learners.

To help the students in understanding more about homophone and homonym, I would like to share a set of stages that can be used in EFL classes..


Lesson outline


  1. Homophones

Homophones are pairs of words that sound the same, but have distinctly different meanings and different spellings. Teacher needs to prepare a list of homophones and examples of homophones written on sentences, songs, poems, etc. These are some examples on the use of homophones in sentences and poem.

Aisle     I'll     Isle

  1. I'll seat on the aisle in the plane to the Isle
  2. The aisle seat is vacant so I’ll be on there during my flight to the Isle

By     Buy     Bye

  1. Our team got bye in the next competetion, so we may buy things on the corner coffee by here
  2. Before they said bye, they buy some chocolate in the shop by the station.

Cite    Site    Side


  1. The cite is on the wall of the site in our side.
  2. They put all the cite on site of the side of the cafe.

For     Fore     Four


  1. She walks for exercise and fore others in four meters ahead.
  2. The fore stage is for the four best students in this year.

To    Two    Too


  1. Two of us need to go too.
  2. To go to that place needs two hours drive and about 30 minutes walk too.

Blue      Blew

Knows     Nose

Head      Hat

Dear       Deer

Bye     Buy

Two      To

Night     Knight

Hare      Hair

Sent      Cent

Steal     Steel

Hail      Hale

Tini's bird

Tini has a bluebird named Blew.

Blew is always ate eight bananas in a week.

Blew knows Stefani is coming to him from its nose.

Blew always flies to Stefani's head for getting her hat.

Tini sometimes called Blew dear as she also wants to have a deer.

Tini says goodbye to Blew when she wants to buy bananas.

Two of them are like to eat bananas.

Last night a knight looks at Blew and Tini in the balcony.

A hare with soft white hair is in the balcony too.

Tini sent one cent to the hare.

The hare tries to steal the steel pairs of banana from Tini.

Tini and Blew hail to be hale ever.


B. Homonyms

Homonyms are vocabulary that spelled and sound the same, but they have different meanings. Some examples are:

bail - to clear water               

bail - the release of a prisoner

band - a ring, something that binds       

band - a group

bank – place to earn money           

bank – thing for sitting

bases - starting points               

bases - four stations on a baseball field


In the preparation stage, teacher needs to introduce some examples of how homophones are used in sentences, poems, etc. These are some sample sentences and a poem that teacher can share with his/her students.

The fly lands to fly in my meal.

I have to book the tickets while waiting in a que I read a book.

They go to the bank while waiting in a line they sit on the bank there.

We scale the scale weighed.

They train boys to board on the train.

The man saw the tree used saw.

It comes a wind to wind his hat.

A group of bats fly over the tree and he bats them.

The flies fly above his head and he chases away the flies.

He called his wife dear and his wife said that the oranges are dear.

Dear ones, I want to lean my saw but not to the lean man.



Step 1: Fun homophones and homonyms

Ask students to listen to a song with some homophones and homonyms then ask them to repeat what they already hear.

Step 2: Homophones reactions

The teacher reads out the sentences or poems prepared in the Preparation stage. The teacher can also ask some students to read a particular text; while others listen and write the homophones. After that, the teacher can ask each student to share his/her notes to the class.  

Step 3: Homophones search races

The teacher asks the students to identify homophones from the available texts. Then they are asked to share their notes or asnwers with their peers.

Step Four: Searching homophones

The teacher asks the students to find out the homophones that are used in some of the available videos. They are also asked to share their knowledge and skills to others.

Step Five: Group work

The teacher divides the class into some groups; and each group has its own name A, B, C, D, E, F, etc. Then the teacher asks permissions

 to answer some questions, such as

  • What is the synonymous of listen?
  • What is the opposite word of war?

Step Six: Use poem

The teacher asks students to read a poem then asks them to write their own. After that, the teacher asks some people to read their own poems. .

Step Seven: Write a poem using homophones

The teacher shows an example of a poem that inspires other people. He/she also ask students to write their own poems and to include homophones in the poems.

Step Eight: Evaluation

Students might be evaluated based on how they used homophones and homonyms. The evaluation can be in the form of:

  • Dictation
  • Students’ immediate diagloues.
  • Students’ poems



Learning homophones and homonyms should be fun for the students. The lesson outline mentioned previously offers an idea on how to make better teaching/learning process.



Pryle, M.B. (2000). Peek, peak, pique: Using homophones to teach vocabulary (and spelling!). Voices From the Middle, 7(4), 38–44.

Readence, J. E., Bean, T. W. & Baldwin, R. S. (1986). Content area reading: An integrated approach (4th. Ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt

Richard Nordquist. (2019). 200 Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs A List of Easily Confused Words With Practice Exercises. Retrieved via

Hidayat, T. N., Iswandi, F., & Kirom, A. (2017). Sound Problems in Interpreting: a Comparative Study of Undergraduate Program at Sebelas Maret State University. Jurnal Humaniora29(3), 301-308.


Please check the Methodology and Language for Secondary course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Teaching Advanced Students course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Pronunciation  course at Pilgrims website.

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