We have 26 alphabets in English Grammar out of which 5 are vowels (a,e,i,o,u) and rest 21 are consonants. Pronunciation of every vowel is different from the other which gives rise to different types of sounds wherever they are used.
Today we are going to discuss about vowel ‘a’ and learn different sounds it produces whenever it is used in a word.
One of the first encounters for a student is this concept of long and short vowel sounds, such as ‘a’. Short a, written phonetically as /æ/, makes the vowel sound of a, as in cap, tap, fat and bat.
Following ESL phonics extensive list introduces students to “short a” and “long a” sound words.
Short ‘A’ Vowel Sound Words
Carefully go through the words given in above table and try to pronounce them. You’ll observe a pattern that we don’t have to stress on the vowel ‘a’ therefore we hear a soft ‘a’ sound.
Notice all three-letter words and vowel ‘a’ which is used between two consonants, these types of words are called CVC words.
Now Let us move to the long ‘a’ vowel words section where you would have to stress the vowel ‘a’ to pronounce the words correctly.
Long ‘A’ Vowel Sound Words
The long /a/ sound is pronounced like the word ‘Alien’. It is quite similar to sound what you hear in words like “Acorn” or “Apron.”
There are four ways of spelling Long ‘a’ sounds:
1. Using Letter A: You can spell the long /a/ sound with just the letter a.
2. Using Split Digraph A _ E : These words spell the long /a/ sound using a split digraph a_e where a is in the middle of the word and an e at the end of the word.
3. AI and AY Words: The long /a/ sound is spelled with the letters ai and ay, at the end of some words.
4. Using EI Words: The long /a/ sound is spelled with the letters ei usually at the middle of the word.
Notice that whenever you pronounce these words you’ll hear a sharp ‘a’ sound that is why they are called Long ‘a’ vowel words.
We hope you have found this post useful for your child. Practice sounding out these words to help your child build his/her phonics skills. Use the following image for a quick revision.
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