Are the different spellings of vowels in English driving you crazy? Do they keep you from recognizing words you already know or make you afraid to write anything in English? Do you hesitate to pronounce new English words, not knowing which sounds their vowels will have this time?
Vowels in English can certainly be confusing. A letter can have four or more sounds. Individual vowel sounds can also be written with several different combinations of letters!
Is there any way to make sense of this mess? Will you ever be comfortable reading or writing in English?
You can master vowels in English by learning a few simple patterns! Check out this 5-day course! It's a step-by-step process to
By the end of this course,
This course makes it as simple as possible.
Each day’s lessons will take half an hour to 45 minutes. (You don't have to do it all in one day, of course.) You can download the audio files and pdf exercises and examples to review offline.
Day 1 starts with a welcome video. It gives an overview of what you'll learn. Then there are two brief lessons: an introduction to short and long vowels and a lesson on homophones. There are review activities and questions to help you remember what you learned.
Here’s a little more information on the first day’s lessons:
Short and long vowels are the two most common sounds for each letter. The course teaches a simple way to remember each sound using common words and colors.*
(For example, ‘black hat’ stands for the short A sound.) These are easier for many of us than learning the International Phonetic Alphabet. This lesson gives simple rules for when a vowel will be short or long.
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. (They usually have different spellings, too.) They’re important to recognize!
If you choose the wrong homophone, a spell checker cannot catch your mistake. (Examples: to/too/two or they're/their.) Sometimes grammar checkers can catch them. If missed, they can confuse your readers or make you look uneducated. That’s why the lessons for each vowel point out more common homophones.
*P.S. For more information on associating vowel sounds with colors see this color vowel chart. It also links to the website of the teachers who designed the chart. That website has more information and free and paid courses (and materials) to help teach this system.
Days 2-4 talk about each of the five vowels and their digraphs. (Digraphs are combinations of two or more letters, like 'ai.' 'ee,' or 'igh.') Each lesson shows the different ways to pronounce them.
Day 2 has videos and practice on A, E, and I and their digraphs.
Day 3: O and U and their digraphs. (You can pronounce OU 6 different ways, so it’s harder to learn!)
Day 4: Vowels followed by R. (Learn the different sounds of air, ar, ear, eer, ir, or, etc. Think of the various sounds of words like air, bear, beer, bird, car, care, ear, earth, for, war, and word.)
Day 5: Multi-syllable and Academic Words. One key is syllable stress. Notice the difference between motivate and motivation or strategy and strategic. You'll learn simple rules for syllable stress and common vowel sound tricks.
I’ve just planned a redesign of the course. I would love to find a small group to go through it with me, test each part, and make it better. You can take it for free, and have free access to the complete course when it's finished. Help me find the parts that are confusing, difficult, or boring. What is unnecessary and what needs more information?
As a bonus, I'll plan several live calls to discuss the different units. I'll give you personal help with English pronunciation. It's a great chance to ask any questions you have, too!
If you’re interested, please sign up here.
We’ll start in late October and look at one or two of the course’s units (“days”) each week. (You can let me know how much time you have for it.) There will be discussion questions and a couple of conference or video calls.
Increase your confidence reading, writing, and speaking English by mastering English vowels!