Confusion over ‘U’

During a private lesson I was asked about the different ways we pronounce the letter ‘U.’ There are a number of resources that shed light on the different pronunciations. One I found helpful was It can serve as a reference when you need to offer an explanation, create a lesson plan, or design an activity.

Context is always key in language practice. I like to isolate a problematic sound, contrast it with others, and then have the student use the target sound in words, phrases, and sentences. An interesting context keeps an exercise from growing dull. In my Funny Truths _handout, I suggest having students read sentences aloud, sort key words according the pronunciation of ‘U,’ and then create their own sentences. All statements are surprising facts, and listeners must identify each one as true or false. By the time students are creating their own sentences, they should have greater awareness of the different pronunciations of ‘U.’ The activity has upper level students in mind. Enjoy!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. narmin says:

    Hello. I liked your blog very much! It is so helpful for teachers! I am also a teacher and I love learning from other teachers and sharing my knowledge too!
    I would like to know if you teach the students different sounds of letters. What I mean is, do you teach that A is pronounced differently like neurtal /ə/, etc,?

    1. Hello Narmin. I’m glad you found my blog. Yes, I think it’s important to teach the letter name and the sound(s) a letter makes. Have you seen this posting?

  2. narmin says:

    Thank you very much in advance
    Wishing you all the best

    1. Kind wishes to you as well!

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