What Are Continuous Vowel Sounds
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What Are Continuous Vowel Sounds

When learning, or teaching, English pronunciation, there are many factors to consider and even more rules to remember. Students can easily feel overwhelmed and confused. It’s best to start teaching pronunciation with easier sounds, such as continuous sounds. But what are continuous vowel sounds?

Continuous sounds are sounds with a continuous flow from the mouth or nose. They are pronounced for a few seconds and are easy to pronounce without interruption. All vowel sounds are continuous, depending on the word they are used in. For example, the ‘a’ in ‘mat’ is a continuous vowel sound.

Continuous vowel sounds are a great way to teach pronunciation, especially to young or beginner-level students. What are some more examples of continuous vowel sounds? And how do you start to teach or learn continuous vowel sounds? Here we will discuss the finer details of continuous vowels.

CONTINUOUS SOUNDS

Examples Of Continuous Vowel Sounds

As all vowel sounds are continuous, there is an extensive list of examples. However, for the purpose of teaching continuous vowel sounds, especially to beginner-level students, it is useful to start with three-letter words.

These words will have one continuous consonant or stop sound, followed by a continuous vowel sound, followed by a continuous consonant, or stop sound. Teaching students these examples will be useful, as they can see the difference between continuous and stop sounds.

Great examples to start teaching continuous vowel sounds are:

  • (a) in mat – ‘m’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘a’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (a) in fan – ‘f’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘a’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘n’ is a continuous consonant sound.
  • (a) in van – ‘v’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘a’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘n’ is a continuous consonant sound.
  • (e) in vet – ‘v’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘e’ is a continuous vowel sound; ‘ t’ is a stop sound.
  • (e) inset – ‘s’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘e’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (e) in net – ‘n’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘e’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (i) in fit – ‘f’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘i’ is a continuous vowel sound; and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (i) in sit – ‘s’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘i’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (i) in bi– ‘n’ is a  stop sound; ‘i’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘b’ is a stop sound.
  • (o) in mo– ‘m’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘o’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘p’ is a stop sound.
  • (o) in to– ‘t’ is a stop sound; ‘o’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘p’ is a stop sound.
  • (o) in not – ‘n’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘o’ is a continuous vowel sound; and ‘t’ is a stop sound.
  • (u) in rub – ‘r’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘u’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘b’ is a stop sound.
  • (u) in mug – ‘m’ is a continuous consonant sound; ‘u’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘g’ is a stop sound.
  • (u) in cup – ‘c’ is a stop sound; ‘u’ is a continuous vowel sound, and ‘p’ is a stop sound.

All of these are good examples of continuous vowel sounds. Students will not only learn to read continuous vowel sounds, but they will also learn to switch from a continuous sound to a stop sound. which encouraging the development of blending skills and word construction.

The first letter is either a continuous consonant or stop sound in each example. The second letter is a continuous vowel sound, and the third letter is either a continuous consonant or stop sound.

Reading and pronouncing continuous vowel sounds in these examples is a fantastic start because it will help students when reading more difficult words.

 Teaching Vowel Resources.

We have hundreds of vowel games, online games, worksheets, information and activities on the site. We will highlight three below, but you can check out the full collection here. Most of these are free to download and print for your students and children. Hope they are useful.

How To Pronounce Continuous Vowel Sounds?

Continuous vowel sounds are usually taught as part of phonics lessons or reading skills lessons. They are one of the first things students are taught when learning pronunciation. The biggest mistake students make when learning continuous sounds is adding a schwa to make the continuous sound a stop sound.

A schwa is an added sound that changes the sound of the word. The schwa students most commonly use the ‘uh’ sound. For example: Instead of saying f/a/n, students will say /f/uh/a/n. These two words sound nothing alike, and that is why it is important to eliminate adding schwa sounds when reading.

Even though the schwa is only really used when pronouncing a continuous consonant sound, learning to correctly pronounce continuous vowel sounds will help to minimize the use of schwa sounds like ‘uh’ when reading more difficult words.

That is why it is important to start teaching continuous vowel sounds first. Laying a good foundation will help students understand what is expected and what the rules are when they move on to reading continuous consonant sounds and more complicated words.

It is helpful to have students read the words in front of a mirror. This allows them to see what their mouths are doing while they are reading the words. It is easier for them to copy the teacher when they can visualize what they should be doing.

Writing out the words as they read them is also useful, as they can see what you hear. For example: if a student uses the ‘uh’ schwa, they will be able to see it and correct it if you write it out. This will encourage them to eliminate schwa sounds or other common pronunciation errors.

It is advisable to spend enough time teaching students to read continuous vowel sounds and correct any mistakes that appear here as best possible. This will help them to concentrate more on their reading and pronunciation and help them learn more difficult words later.

Why Are Continuous Vowel Sounds Important?

Starting by teaching continuous vowel sounds can be a great way to build students’ confidence in reading. Suppose they start with simpler examples, such as continuous vowel sounds, and master these pronunciations. In that case, they will have more confidence when reading longer, challenging words.

Continuous vowels are important when it comes to blending sounds to make a word. Blending is when you move from one sound to another to make a word. For example, the word bed is a blend of the /b/; /e/; and /d/ sounds.

Students must have the ability to identify and pronounce continuous vowel sounds correctly to blend sounds and successfully pronounce words. Students who have trouble hearing the individual sounds will benefit from seeing the individual sounds visually.

Using continuous vowel sounds correctly is a great tool for reading. It can offer students a “pause” while reading longer words to pronounce them correctly.

For example, when reading the word ‘interdimensional,’ students can take some time to read the continuous vowel sounds, as these can be pronounced slightly longer. In this way, students will have time to think about the pronunciation of the other sounds.

Continuous vowel sounds are an important part of pronouncing and reading words correctly. Learning these will help students with their reading and pronunciation skills. It will ultimately help with their English understanding and usage in general.

When to Teach Continuous Sounds?

As we mentioned above teaching and modeling effectively the difference between continuous sounds and stop sounds should be started early. With younger students though it i not needed to go into detail on the mouth shapes, reasons for the difference between continuous and stop sounds.

Simple modeling, keeping an eye on the TV ( as there is a lot of very poor pronunciation in Childrens TV!) and creating word lists for children to practice will all help them to both recognise the difference and to use continuous sounds.

Conclusion

All vowels can form continuous sounds.These sounds are often easy to pronounce, and are a great thing to teach at in the early stages of English language acquisition and when learning to read.

Teaching students to pronounce continuous vowel sounds correctly is a great way to build their reading confidence and capabilities and allows them to use this skill to move on to more complex language tasks. .

References

http://faculty.tamuc.edu/jthompson/Resources/LetterSoundCorrespondences.pdf

https://pronuncian.com/linking-continuous-consonants-vowels

https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/blog/what-is-continuous-blending-and-why-is-it-important/

https://www.freereading.net/wiki/Continuous_letter_sounds.html

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