When you begin studying English pronunciation, you will come across “Vowel Charts”. They look kind of confusing at first, but if you understand how they work, they can help you understand the pronunciation of vowels.
Take a look at this vowel chart.
This represents the mouth.
Left – Right
On the left side of the chart, these vowels are pronounced on the front side of the tongue. On the right side of the chart, these vowels are pronounced on the back of the tongue.
Up – Down
Moving up on the chart, these vowels are pronounced with the tongue being higher (meaning the mouth pretty closed). Moving down on the chart, these vowels are pronounced with the tongue being lower. The jaw is lowered more.
Click above to watch the video if you would like to hear how each vowel sounds. I went over each symbol and how to produce their sounds.
Learning vowels in American English is crucial to improving your pronunciation. American English has many vowels which other languages may not have. It might be confusing to native speakers of English if you use vowels from your native language.
Practice and get used to American English vowels. Comment below to let me know if you got it or have any questions about this chart.
Thank you for reading!
American English pronunciation coach. Studied linguistics at UCLA. Specializing in phonetics, phonology, intonation, and second language acquisition.
She likes music and Toastmasters. Recently she enjoys playing ukulele and hand bells.