the u: sound title

How to Teach the Long u Sound

The long u sound is the ninth in the list of vowels of the English Sound System. Like /ɔ:/, we produce this sound with rounded lips. Also, it is a universal sound just like all the other long sounds we have previously discussed on our blog.

You can check through our previous blogs to learn about the long e, a, and the/ɔ:/ sounds. In Nigeria, all the major dialects have the vowel, so it is not a difficult sound for Nigerians to articulate.

As has also been noted with the long ‘e’ and /a:/, and /ɔ:/ the difference between the English /u:/and the /u/in our dialects’ is the variation in length. The English /u:/is a long sound and so it is always loud.

How to teach /u:/ to beginning learners

Step one:

Show an item that contains the /u:/sound. Use an item everyone is familiar with. For example, the picture of a cow.

 

Step two:

Ask if knows the name of the animal. Can they make the animal’s sound? Write “moo” on the board, underline the double oo.

 

Step three:

Explain that the letters ‘oo’ says /u:/ in ‘shoe’, but it can make other sounds in other words. Ask and write out the vowel. Give other word examples (cool, fool, loo, do, coo) and explain that when the learners see the ‘oo’ in words, it will most likely say /u:/.

 

Step four:

Ask the learners to supply more /u:/word examples. They will supply a mix of words. Some spelt with other letters; some may not contain the vowel. Use a dictionary to show them how to confirm whether a word has the vowel or not.

 

Step five:

Have the learners say /u:/in isolation and then practice writing it down in their notebooks.

 

More /u:/ word examples

The /u:/ sound has various spelling variants. These include u, ue, ew, ou, oo,ui and oe. Some word examples are shown below.

 

unicorn /ˈjuːnɪkɔːn/                                   fruit /fru:t/

 

fuel /fjuː(ə)l/                                               true /tru:/

 

Shoe  /ʃuː/                                                   food /fu:d /

 

crew /cru:/                                                   future  /ˈfjuːtʃə/

 

pool /pu:l/                                                  soup /su:p/

 

If you enjoyed reading this post why not take a quiz to test your understanding.

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Which of the words contains the /u:/ sound

Correct! Wrong!

Say ooh
Fantastic!

Great Job! You have mastered the long /u:/ Sound!! You most certainly deserve a trophy!
Great!

We most certainly think you could have made the perfect score if you tried just a little harder. Here, you get a wreath of honour for your great effort
Try Again?
You have it in you, you just have to let it out. You don't get a medal now but that does not mean you can't!
Oh oh
What can we say? The saying, "He that is down needs fear no fall" was meant for you. Get up and try again.

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