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English vowel sound spelling charts

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English vowel sound spelling charts (set of 20 x A4) have been designed for English teachers and students to demonstrate the link between English vowel sounds and spelling patterns.

See teaching suggestions below.   Charts List            YouTube Video

These charts are reusable when cleaned after using whiteboard marker pens.

English vowel sound spelling charts background information:

English has 5 vowel letters but 20 vowel sounds. This can be confusing and problematic for students. ‘English vowel sound spelling charts’ use colour and visual cues to link sounds and spelling patterns.

  • Visual cues such as colours, pictures, pronunciation symbols and example words for each sound demonstrate the relationship between spelling and pronunciation and provide a useful way of drawing attention to contrasting sounds in English.
  • English learner dictionaries and pronunciation textbooks use the same ‘pronunciation symbols’ as those on the spelling charts.
    These symbols are from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
  • charts can be utilised on a ‘need to know’ basis as problematic words appear in written texts. Words can be added to the applicable chart as they are learnt in class.
  • Students gain confidence and autonomy by becoming familiar with dictionary pronunciation symbols. However, by utilising charts with visual cues students don’t have to memorise all the symbols.

  • English vowel sound spelling charts:

  • Use colour and visual associations to link sounds to spelling patterns.
  • Use the same phonemic symbols as English learner dictionaries.
  • Can be displayed on the walls, written on, cleaned and reused again.
  • Students can write example words on the charts as a learning tool.
  • Can be used as needed to demonstrate problematic or contrasting vowel sounds.

    English vowel sound spelling charts contents:

  • Chart  1 of 20 – Sound in black cap
  • Chart  2 of 20 – Sound in many red pens
  • Chart  3 of 20 – Sound in some fun bubbles
  • Chart  4 of 20 – Sound in what orange bottle
  • Chart  5 of 20 – Sound in calm marble stars
  • Chart  6 of 20 – Sound in pink building
  • Chart  7 of 20 – Sound /ə/ in unstressed syllables
  • Chart  8 of 20 – Sound in good wood
  • Chart  9 of 20 – Sound in purple bird
  • Chart 10 of 20 – Sound in green leaves
  • Chart 11 of 20 – Sound in cork door
  • Chart 12 of 20 – Sound in blue shoes
  • Chart 13 of 20 – Sound in brown mouse
  • Chart 14 of 20 – Sound in grey plane
  • Chart 15 of 20 – Sound in yellow boat
  • Chart 16 of 20 – Sound in boys toys
  • Chart 17 of 20 – Sound in bright lime kite
  • Chart 18 of 20 – Sound in square pairs / Reverse side - Diagnostic listening activity
  • Chart 19 of 20 – Sound in pure skewer / Reverse side - Listening activity answers
  • Chart 20 of 20 – Sound in ear here / - Spelling Dictation – Same sound sentences
  • Teacher’s reference lists of example words for each sound.
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    English vowel sound spelling charts teaching suggestions

  • Display the English vowel sound spelling charts where they can be easily accessed during class so that students can add new words to the appropriate chart as they appear in reading texts, etc.
  • When focusing on a particular English sound, ask students to give examples of words containing the sound. Write all suggested words on the board, grouping words with the same spelling pattern together. If a word with a different sound is suggested by a student, write it apart from the other words, so that you can demonstrate the contrasting sound later.
  • Important note: If students aren’t sure if a particular word contains the focus sound, turn it into a learning opportunity by directing them to check the word in a dictionary to see if it has the appropriate ‘sound symbol’.
  • Example words can then be written on the appropriate English vowel sound spelling chart by students.
  • Note: Charts can be re-used after cleaning.
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                Page updated February 2015
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