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Do you find it difficult to really hear the difference between certain sounds in English?
For example, what is the difference between Sheep and Ship?
Many students of English have difficulty with vowel sounds in English because they often don't exist in other languages and this can lead to serious problems in their communication.
In this course we look at the twenty vowel sounds in English, how they sound, and how they are usually spelt.
We then practise the sounds together.
Also included are audio files of the lessons themselves, and some practice sentences that include lots of words with the sounds from each lesson. You can download these and practice them at home, in the car or wherever you like!
This course is split into 10 lessons and we look at two sounds in each lesson. By the end of the course you will have covered every vowel sound in English. You will also gain familiarity with the transcription alphabet, which you can then read in dictionaries and understand exactly how the word is pronounced.
This course is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their accent, particularly if they want a British English accent.
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|Section 1: Let's master English vowel sounds!|
In this course we will look at the pronunciation of all 20 vowel sounds in English. We will look at the transcription alphabet letter for each sound and practise each sound together.
1 - fish /fɪʃ/ - tree - triː
In this lesson we look at the sounds /i/ and /iː/
You can download the audio of the lesson (called Lesson 1) and the practice sentences (called practice lesson 1)
/i/ - fish
pick, trick, thick, thin
usually spelt with 'i' - exceptions - pretty, women, busy, decide, village, physics
/iː/ - tree
see, bee, treat, beat
common spellings - ee - speed, sweet: ea - team, peach: e - medium, refund - exceptions - people, magazine, key, niece, receipt
word pairs - bit-beat - fit-feet - sit-seat - sick-seek
A big bee lives in a tree.
Pick up your keys and bring them to me.
I want to see who'll live with me.
2 - Cat - kæt - Car - kɑː
æ - cat, sat, bat, mat
always spelled ‘a’
/ɑː/ - car, market, start, glass
/a/ - glass, path
exceptions - laugh, aunt, heart
- cat-cart, hat-heart, chat-chart
The cat sat on the mat.
The car went far under the stars.
Can you chat about the last chance?
3- clock-klɒk - horse- hɔːs
clock - hot, pot, got, off, on
usually spelt ‘o’
exceptions - watch, want, sausage, because
horse - floor, wall, draw, caught, thought
or - score, floor
al - bald, wall
aw - prawns, draw
others - warm, course, thought, caught, audience, board
There's a hot clock in the bottom of my sock!
There's a small wall being hit by a ball.
Stop hopping and walk to the door.
4 - bull-bʊl - boot-buːt
bull, full, butcher, cook, book, look, good
2 main spellings, - ‘u’ and ‘oo’
boot, pool, moody, true, student, soup, shoe
spellings - oo, u or ew
exceptions - suitcase, juice, shoe, move, soup, through, queue
Pull the wool and move the shoe.
The book looks good and the movie is groovy.
The pool was full so we looked round the zoo.
5 - bird - bɜːd - computer - kəmˈpjuːtə
bird, term, prefer, dirty, third, curly, turn
er - ir and ur
exceptions - learn, work, world, worse, journey
computer - always unstressed
other, nervous, about, complain, director, information
compare prefer - pre - schwa - fer - bird
The word you heard was bird, not third.
The singer is bigger than the other figure.
I've heard that there are no others in the world.
6 - egg - eg - up - ʌp
egg, menu, lend, text, spend, plenty, cent
usually spelt with just ‘e’
exceptions - friend, already, healthy, many, said
up, public, subject, ugly, duck, hurry, cup
usually spelt with just ‘u’
exceptions - money, worried, someone, enough, country, tough
dead - dud -- bet - but -- bed - bud
Let the vet get wet.
Love your mother like no other.
Get some honey and bet some money.
7 - train - treɪn - phone - fəʊn
train, save, gate, railway, plain, may, say
main spellings - ‘a’ - ‘ai’ and ‘ay’
exceptions - break, steak, great, weight, they, grey
phone, broke, stone, frozen, mobile, roast, coach
main spellings ‘o’ and ‘oa’
exceptions - owe, slow, although, shoulders
lane - loan - cane - cone - drain - drone
Train your brain to stay out of the rain. Go slow to show your flow. The pay is too low to train for the show.
8 - bike - baɪk - owl - aʊl
bike, fine, resign, shy, cycle, flight, frightened
main spellings - ‘i’ - ‘y’ - ‘igh’
exceptions - buy, eye, height
owl, hour, lounge, proud, ground, town, brown
main spellings - ‘ou’ and ‘ow’
high - how - buy - bow
Lie in the sunshine and drink fine wine.
How brown is your cow?
I like your mouse in its little White House.
9 - boy-bɔɪ - ear-ɪə
boy, boiled, noisy, spoilt, coin, enjoy, employer
main spellings - ‘oi’ and ‘oy’
ear, beer, engineer, here, interfere, beard, appearance
main spellings - eer, ere, ear
exceptions - really, idea, serious
boy - beer -- toy - tear
Download the audio here:
Coins are good toys for boys.
A deer is near to my ear.
Your voice in my ears is joyful and clear!
10 - chair-ʧeə - tourist-ˈtʊərɪst
chair, hair, fair, airport, stairs, rare, careful
main spellings - ‘air’ and ‘are’
exceptions - their, there, wear, pear, area
tourist - very unusual - euro, furious, sure, plural
tear - tour -- care - cure
I don't care if My hair is fair.
To tour in Europe you need some euros.
I'm sure my chair is pure horse hair.
I'm Guy, I've been teaching English since 2009 and teaching online since 2013.
I did my CELTA in Moscow and taught there for three and a half years and I quickly realised that I had found my vocation.
I love teaching as I love meeting and talking with people from around the world, and I feel confident in explaining all aspects of English.
I now live in England and teach via Skype.