Remember the difference between the short vowel sounds (a,e,i,o,u) using these hand gestures.

One of the most difficult things for students learning English is being able to distinguish the difference between each of the short vowel sounds. The images and descriptions below can help students remember the different pronunciation.


Before I begin each description I would like to note that making the short vowel sounds is a complex process, these images will not fully explain exactly how to pronounce the sounds (that comes from a lot of listening and speaking) but they will help in knowing how to distinguish and remember the differences for each vowel sound.

The "a" sound can be produced by opening your mouth wide enough to fit three fingers in your mouth and saying the word "apple." When you say the "a" sound your tongue and cheeks move back.

The "e" sound can be produced by opening your mouth wide enough to fit two fingers in your mouth and saying the word "egg." 

The "i" sound can be produced by opening your mouth just wide enough fit one finger in your mouth and saying the word "iguana." 

You can remember the "o" sound by making the o shape with your hand and saying the word "octopus." When you say the "o" sound your mouth should be round and relaxed and your tongue will move slightly back.

The "u" sound is made more with your diaphragm/throat than it is with your mouth. You can reproduce the sound by gently punching your gut.  
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March 7, 2016 at 6:23 PM delete

This is good! The movements will really help my online reading students—kids who fail to learn to read at school. Thank you!

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