Phonemic symbols are the symbols used to represent individual phoneme sounds in transcription, e.g. in a dictionary.

Teacher looking at phonemic chart with a student

They can be used to help learners with pronunciation.

The following are examples in English:
/p/ as in pet /k/ as in cat /ei/ as in pay /i:/ as in beat

In the classroom
Activities which can help learners include phonemic bingo, phonemic hangman, practice with dictionaries, class posters and looking at homophones. There is much discussion about how useful phonemic symbols are to learners, and some teachers choose never to teach them, especially if learner do not feel they are useful.

See also:

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