Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.





ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board


ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Homonym Errors - Why? Need help ASAP!    

Homonym Errors - Why? Need help ASAP!


Homonym Errors - Why? Need help ASAP!
As you all know, a lot of ESL learners make homonym errors such as;

their / there
here / hear

(and so on)

What could be the reasons why learners are making such errors? Your ideas would be invaluable as I am currently doing research on Error Analysis.

28 Apr 2012      


Hi there Fsams!
I do not have an answer to your question, but I do know that native speakers also make such errors, thatīs something that I noticed recently and I was very surprised. I guess we just have to care our writing as much as we can and read a lot more!!!
Take care!!

28 Apr 2012     

United States

As a native speaker, I will confirm what Eva said about native speakers making those mistakes as well. The words don īt even have to be perfect homophones for that to happen. My husband usually uses "personal" instead of "personnel," for example. He īll pronounce "personnel" before he does it, so he knows the right word but types the wrong spelling.
This is a completely non-academic opinion: I believe that students (both native and ESOL/EFL) learn a strategy for spelling a given phoneme or in some cases a syllable. Students use their strategies for spelling words and sometimes they are resistant to new strategies or to exceptions to the rules. In ESOL/EFL students, they learn the strategies for their own language first if the language uses the Latin alphabet, and that causes interference as well. They may adopt a strategy that fits better with their own language, even if that strategy is less common in English.
Another factor is that correct spelling simply isn īt very important to many people, especially native speakers. Looking at random blogs or Internet chat rooms will tell you that very quickly.
English spelling has got to be some of the worst, if not the absolute worst, in the world. Try to find a copy of Crazy English by Richard Lederer if you can. He has a Ph.D in linguistics, but his books weren īt written for academia but for the general public. Even if you can īt use his books for your paper, you will enjoy them and they may give you ideas.

28 Apr 2012     


Thanks a bunch for your lovely ideas people :D

29 Apr 2012