Open Vowels

What are they?

An open vowel is nothing but that vowel sound while producing which the mouth remains open. The tongue is very far from the roof of the mouth while saying the vowel sound. The tongue is positioned low in the mouth.  


Learning open vowels are important to young learners as the delivery of vowel sounds need accuracy. A lot of practice with accurate sounds will help them gain a command over it.


How do we start about?

We start the open vowels class by talking about the shapes formed by the lips while producing a vowel sound. An image has been mentioned below for reference. The teacher must repeatedly practice the vowel sounds in the classroom and ask the students to repeat. This will help the learners get introduced to open vowel sounds and distinguish them from closed vowels.

Movement of lips for the utterance of vowels
Image Source:


Strategies to be used

-The teacher can make use of words having open vowel sounds to start about. For example use the words like ‘bee’, ‘tree’, ‘cry’, ‘fly’ etc to teach them the open vowel ‘e’ and ‘y’ in these examples. Although, you can expand your class using several other examples. Make sure they are pronouncing the vowels correctly by keeping the tongue as far as possible from the roof of the mouth.


Pick the Right Words
The teacher can give a list of words with vowels and the learners can sort them out. They have to pick the right words with the long vowels. You can put these words on cards and spread them on the ground. Now ask the learners to pick one card at a time and say the words out loud. They have to recognize if the vowel is long or short.


Making placards for individual open vowel sounds is also helpful. These placards can be made on small card papers. Keep it simple. Mention the open vowel and an image of an example. Do not forget to write the word itself. Two examples have been mentioned below. These placards are useful while learning. Raise these placards in the class and ask the learners to say the sound and word after you.



  1. A video for Open Vowels by Word Scientists.

2. A video called Spelling Game: Open Vowels by Betsy Cruz



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