Languages › English as a Second Language English Pronunciation Exercises - Short Vowels and Consonants Share Flipboard Email Print Tom Merton/Getty Images English as a Second Language Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Grammar Business English Resources for Teachers by Kenneth Beare Kenneth Beare has taught English and English as a second language teacher since 1983. Updated January 13, 2018 The following series of pronunciation exercises combines words beginning with the same consonant sound followed by similar vowel sounds. Voiced and voiceless consonants are paired (b - voiced / p - voiceless, d - voiced / t - voiceless, etc.) to help students compare and contrast similar consonant formation. Pairing similar phonemes to improve pronunciation skills is also known as the use of minimal pairs. Minimal pairs change words by one phoneme so that the basic pronunciation pattern remains the same with one slight - minimal - difference. This allows students to really focus in on the slight difference in jaw, tongue, or lip placement needed to make the various phonemes. Repeat each line slowly, listen for the minor differences between the vowel and consonant sounds.Repeat each line three times. Each time repeat more quickly trying to keep the sounds distinct.Find a partner and listen to each other repeat the lines.Try to invent sentences using each sound at least once. For example: The big bat bet he could beat the others. - Don't worry too much about the sentence making much sense! ih - pronounced 'ih' as in 'hit' ee - pronounced 'ee' as in 'see' eh - pronounced 'eh' as in 'let' ae - pronounced 'ae' as in 'cat' big beat bet bat pig peep pet pat did deal death dad tip teeth tell tap gill gee! get gap kill keep kept cat sip see set sat zip zeal zeppelin zap ship sheet shelf shaft gin jeep jell jack chip cheek chess chat hit heat help hat Vowel Sounds 'eh' - as in 'let', 'ih' - as in 'hit', 'ee' - as in 'see', and 'ae'- as in 'cat''long ah' - as in 'car', 'short ah' - as in 'got''long uh' - as in 'put', 'short uh' - as in 'up', 'oo' - as in 'through' Diphthong Sounds 'ay' - as in 'day', 'ai' - as in 'sky''ou' - as in 'home', 'ow' - as in 'mouse', 'oi' - as in 'boy''ieh(r)' - as in 'near', 'ehi(r)' - as in 'hair' Continue Reading Put, Pop, and Poof! What's the Difference in the 'oo' Sound? Know the Difference Between Voiced and Voiceless Consonants Understanding English Pronunciation Concepts What to Focus on When Teaching Pronunciation by Level Follow These Tips to Improve Your English Pronunciation Do You Know How to Stress Syllables in English? Pronunciation Practice for Stress and Intonation How to Pronounce Past-Tense Regular Verbs Learn the Tongue Twister Betty Botter to Practice the B Sound Practice Changing Meaning Through Using Strong and Weak Forms Practice Pronunciation of 'S' With Sea Shells by the Seashore An Italian Would Never Say That: 10 Common Errors In Italian Usage A Flea and a Fly: Practicing the F Sound A closer look at German plurals, this time with -n and -en endings How Was the Definite Article Used in Early and Modern Italian? What's the Difference Between American and British English?