Desert vs Dessert - English Grammar - Teaching Tips

 

This video covers the difference between 'desert' and 'dessert'. As these two words have a similar pronunciation and spelling, their usage is often confused. This is such a commen mistake made by both native speakers and English learners that we simply have to cover it. The pronunciation of the words is slightly different so most mistakes occurr in writing. Let's take a look at the two words. 'Desert' spelled with one 's' refers to a waterless, dry and empty area. A suitable example would be: Crossing that desert is dangerous. 'Dessert' spelled with double 's', on the other hand, has a very different meaning. It refers to the sweet course usually served at the end of a meal, such as cake or ice-cream. A good example would be: I had some ice-cream for dessert today. Keeping this in mind, there shouldn't be a problem in identifying which spelling to use in which situation.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unit 13 is about teaching pronunciation and phonology, one of the harder aspects of teaching English that is often neglected by teachers of English as a foreign language. The ways in which words in a sentence are said can affect the meaning, which means that being able to understand the different intonations and sounds is very important for someone who wants to understand English. As for basic pronunciation, the phonetic script serves as a reliable means of understanding how to say a word, as the spellings in English can often lead to confusion.