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Go: JHS GrammarShort Vowel




GRAMMAR: Phonics - Short Vowel

EXAMPLE: cat, dog, map, bat

DATE ADDED: Mar 23, 2008

Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


05-10 min.

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BRIEFOUTLINE: This is to introduce the short vowels. Each vowel builds on the next so students can hear the difference and hopefully say and write short words with short vowels correctly.



  • ShortVowel01 attachment: 01 / 02 (see Variations area for details)



  1. I've been doing a lot of work with phonics at my school. It seems to be paying off, but it has to be consistent or else they'll go back to their Japanese habits. I started by doing initial sounds karuta, so they can get used to the idea of listening to English sounds and picking them apart. So for one of the first phonics activity, I used different flashcards and shouted out first the intital sound and then the whole word. (H sound, HAT). I had to leave out the "c/k/q" and vowel cards. They really picked up on the sounds.
  2. Then I started on short vowels. I've been using the "Fun Fonix" book over at MES-English. I've used the games pages and the introductory vowel pages. It gives them some good vocabulary and they can get used to saying the sounds correctly. They really struggle with all of the short vowels sounds except E. I don't like making them repeat endlessly so it's fun to get them to repeat the words with real emotion, like "RUNNNN!!!! ruuuuuuun" They find this a lot more interesting.
  3. Every week I would give them a short listening quiz. I used words they didn't know so that they couldn't "cheat" with the sounds. First I introduced A sound, then the next week I did E. I gave them the "A or E" quiz. Then I just kept adding on. Surpisingly enough, most of them really understood. They were also enthusiastic with the "challenge words." These are 3-letter words that they have to spell entirely by themselves. We graded the quizzes in class and I gave stickers to students who spelled the challenge words correctly -- and I had lots of volunteers with the right answer! Then we went over the words so they could hear the difference in sounds. Then have them repeat the words, so they get used to hearing and saying these new sounds.



  • Variation 01:
    • The short O, as in 'hot', causes a lot of problems with Japanese learners. It is crucial that they learn to recognize the sound and be able to write and say short O words correctly. The 'er / ir / ur' sounds is suggested to be given to 2nd year students
    • They should be saying 'better' and not 'bettah'. L and R is also very important for Japanese speakers.
    • This quiz will see how well your students can recognize the different sounds. If they do very poorly then build a lesson around the L and R sounds.

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