English Confusion Factors

by New School / Feb 09, 2011 / 0 comments

When teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) one thing that might confuse your students when coming to the writing/spelling portion of lessons are the misspellings they will see on signs, in print and classified ads. Some of the funniest examples of this that I have seen were on the Jay Leno - Tonight Show segment devoted to newspaper typos and on this website http://www.funnytypos.com/tag/funny-typo/.

Most of us find these spelling errors hilarious; however these typos can cause confusion for those who are just learning English.  Many English words are not spelled the way they sound, which would explain many of the typos we see. Even native English speakers have trouble spelling some common words.

Another confusing portion to English language newbies are Homonyms - words that have the same pronunciation but have a different meaning, origin, or spelling. I am including some of the most common of these words below.

•    accept, except
•    buy, by, bye
•    capital, capitol
•    fair, fare
•    lie, lye
•    meat, meet, mete
•    pour, pore, poor
•    raise, rays, raze
•    right, write, rite
•    role, roll
•    scene, seen
•    seas, sees, seize,
•    teas, tees, tease
•    there, their, they’re
•    use, ewes
•    whine, wine

A good TESOL or MATESOL education program provides teachers with skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.  With the help of a skilled teacher, some patience and determination students will overcome any obstacles the English language puts in front of them and they will soon be speaking, reading and writing English with ease!  



The New School Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) program is designed to raise the ­standards of professionals in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages and, thereby, to raise the standards of the profession itself.