American English Sounds & Spelling-Are You Confused?

As an accent reduction coach who works with many international professionals, I understand that one of the most confusing aspects of spoken English is not always the ability to say a sound….

…it’s often the lack of uniformity between spelling and sounds.

This is especially true for American vowel sounds.

When I work with my clients, the first thing that I do is teach them the 15 North American vowel sounds.

These sounds become the foundation of their accent reduction training. ✔

That’s because…..

Most people don’t realize that the 5 vowel letters: a,e,i,o & u make 15 sounds.

For example, the letter A can sound like:

  1. /ae/ as in black
  2. /ey/ as in gray
  3. /ɑ/ as in olive
  4. or it can have a reduced schwa sound /ə/

My accent reduction clients tell me that knowing which vowel sound to use is one of the hardest things to learn about spoken English.

The tool that I use to teach vowel sounds is called the Color Vowel Chart.

This chart was developed by a couple of very innovative American English pronunciation teachers.

You can check out  the interactive online version of the Color Vowel Chart by clicking on the link below.

The Color Vowel Chart

People who want to learn the North American vowel sounds, will really appreciate this tool!


To find out more about how accent reduction coaching can help YOU speak American English more clearly check out these FAQ’s on my Accent Reduction Coaching Website.

Accent reduction coaching FAQ’s

Be sure to email me if you have any questions. I’m friendly! ❤

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