Using the phonemic chart for autonomous learning

If learners have access to a computer outside class, they can use the interactive chart together with a dictionary to check the pronunciation of new words they meet in their own reading.

This is particularly useful for learners who are not yet fully familiar with all the sounds on the chart: 

Encourage your learners to record the pronunciation of new words they meet, both in and out of class, in their vocabulary notebooks.

You can also set homework related to pronunciation, which learners can check using the online chart before bringing to class. For example, ask them to write five new words from the class in phonemic script for homework, to be used to test their classmates. Similarly, if you want to focus on a sound which is problematic for your learners, ask them to find five words with that sound and write them in phonemic script. With a little training, your learners could prepare their own 'minimal pairs', for example with the sounds /I/ and /i:/. Depending on their level, they might come up with something like this:

/I/ /i:/
sit seat
hit heat
will wheel
mill meal
bin been
ship sheep

They can use these to test their classmates' ability to discriminate between these sounds, as well as their own pronunciation, in the next class. They simply show the two lists of words to a partner, and say one of the words. The partner responds 'left' or 'right'. For example, in the list above, if student A says 'seat', student B will (hopefully) respond 'right'.

Language Level


It's quite interesting to use the phonemic chart, in spite of being a teacher, I keep on learning. I really recommend it to everyone.

Submitted by RAMAN2020 on Sun, 08/04/2013 - 11:59


its very important to show learners how it works and teaching in many pronunciation and lexical fields

Yes, English is an irregular language as it is not written as its spoken. Therefore, it is imperative to learn the phonology, phonetics, spelling rules etc. especially for the non-English. Learn theses, and English is a wonderful global language.

Submitted by sam7702000 on Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:00


hi, the diphthong ʊə, like in tour, is it removed?

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Thu, 07/10/2014 - 13:09

In reply to by sam7702000


Thanks for your comment - we are planning a review of our phonemic chart, and we hope to address this and other issues.

Submitted by Udeni on Sat, 04/29/2017 - 15:43


This activity should be very effective in many aspects. It also could be modified: get students to write the same words in phonetic scripts and get a partner to pronounce any word at random while the other must write it using general alphabet.

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