Author: British Council | Published on 1 February 2023


Learners need to recognise and produce English vowel sounds correctly to communicate effectively. 

This activity helps to practice vowel sounds (and numbers) in a fun and interactive way: 


Listen to the pronunciation of these 10 words: 

[play audio] 

pit, put, part, pet, port, pert, peat, pot, pat, putt

Notice the difference between ‘put’ /pʊt/ (which rhymes with ‘foot’) and ‘putt’ /pʌt/ (which rhymes with ‘but’). 


Write the grid on the board:

pit put part pet port pert putt peat pot pat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Drill the words: Point, say, learners repeat. 

Read a word. Ask: “What’s the number?” (E.g. part = 3) Repeat until learners recognise all the sounds.


Say: “Let’s play telephone numbers. I’ll say the words; you write the numbers”. Example: pat, peat, part, pet, pit, pit, pert = 0834116.

Play two times. 

Pair work

Tell learners to work in pairs and play the game. Monitor and support.


Drill: A classroom technique used to practise new language. It involves the teacher modelling a word or a sentence and the learners repeating it.

Putt: A type of shot in the game of golf. 

Recognise: To know someone or something because you have seen or heard him or her or experienced it before.

Vowel: A sound made when breath comes from the mouth without being blocked by teeth, tongue or lips.

Vowel sounds In English are listed below:

/ɪ/ as in ship  /ɑː/ as in bath

/e/as in egg  /aɪ/ as in find

/æ/ as in apple /eɪ/ as in Spain

/ʌ/ as in cup /ɔɪ/ as in boy

/ɒ/ as in stop /aʊ/ as in cow

/ʊ/ as in book /əʊ/ as in phone

/iː/ as in tree /ɪə/ as in deer

/ɔː/ as in sport  /ɛː/ as in chair

/uː/ as in root /ɜː/ as in bird

          /ə/ as in the