Teaching Vowel Sounds


man-with-speech-bubbleDid you ever have a student that sounded as if they had an accent but they really didn’t?

Have you ever evaluated a child for speech but their single word assessment was good but they were still very difficult to understand?

The cause may be the vowel sounds rather than the consonant sounds that are being produced incorrectly.

So now what?

First, you want to do an evaluation of the vowel sounds. Many of the standardized tests now have vowels as something they look at (ex. Goldman Fristoe 3, Arizona 3).

This is an evaluation tool from Austraila that gives the reason why testing for vowel sounds is important as well as it is a pdf with vowels produced in multiple words.vowel-assessment.

There is an article from ASHA American Speech and Hearing Association that explains why a standardized test is not sufficient in the assessment of articulation. using-standardized-tests-for-vowel-production.

Then you want to think about which vowels you will target.

  • Start with the earliest developmental vowel sounds:
    • uh, ah, ee, oo and oh
    • The use of hand cues sometimes assists in understanding as there is no place where the tongue is anchored for the vowel sounds.
  • This is a video that has the hand signals and it is done by Pam Marshalla’s Place Cues for Vowels

    Then teach the diphthongs from the early vowel sounds.

The other way to teach vowels is from high vowels to low vowels.


If you start with a high position it then takes just a little adjustment to do the next lower sound.

Here is a listing of vowel words that is really handy.

Home Speech Home: Luke and Holly’s web page of vowel words


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar