The vowel in a word gives it a shape.
Think about how this vowel sounds and how it looks when someone is saying it. All those words that rhyme with it – cow, how, now – they all have the same word shape.
Importantly, if the vowel is correct then the listener is often able to guess a word even if it has not been said perfectly. “dow” might be “cow” . “dow” probably isn’t “key”.
Different accents often have variations on vowels. In many Australian English communities, there are up to 18 different vowels for children to learn to say and then later to spell.
Some children with speech and language difficulties need help with learning how to produce certain vowels. This may determine which words are targeted in therapy.
We have designed a quick screening tool for all of the Australian vowels including a recording sheet.
You can download it here for FREE.
There is also an index book of articulation cards for homework here. The Big Book of Vowels has 9 words for each vowel. The words are appropriate for younger children (often one syllable) and have a corresponding picture attached.