Author: British Council | Published on 1 May 2023


Putting words in groups which share the same sound can help learners improve and practise their pronunciation. It is also a fun game to play in class.

Choose three sounds you want to practise, e.g. /i:/ as in sheep, /e/ as in bed and /u:/ as in boot.

Next, choose some categories, e.g. food, countries, parts of the body, sports, animals and colours. 

As learners to copy the table of categories and sounds. Do the first row together as a class. Elicit one word for each category to complete the first row.

Then, put the class into small groups or teams and ask them to work together to complete the next two rows. For example: 

  Food Countries Parts of the body Sports Animals Colours
/i:/ Cheese Ethiopia Cheek Skiing Cheetah Green
/e/ Bread Senegal Leg Tennis Elephant Red
/u:/ Cucumber Cameroon Tooth Judo Baboon Blue


Category: A system for dividing things into different groups / types.


Elicit: How a teacher gets information from learners e.g. asking questions, prompting.