The Vowel Hexagon

Event date: 
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 12:30
Universidad Nacional de la Plata, V Jornadas Internacionales de Fonetica y Fonologia
Buenos Aires
Extra info: 
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In this talk, I will present a pedagogical chart of English vowels set in a hexagon figure. I will explain the rationale behind the design, which is based on a system of rings and spokes, with the long vowels in the outer ring, the short vowels in the inner ring and the schwa at the centre. I will  explain how and why it is different from the traditional trapezoid vowel chart designed by Daniel Jones or the classic pedagogical phonemic chart designed by Adrian Underhill. I will then go on to demonstrate some of the techniques I have used to present the hexagon chart to learners of English, and some practice activities which I have used to go with it. In conclusion, I will explain how the chart is a hybrid, flexible tool which does not oblige the teacher or learner to work in or towards any specific model accent of English. The vowel hexagon is part of a sound chart published in the recently published series PronPack 1-4 (Hancock McDonald ELT), but the chart is already freely available in the public domain on a number of web pages including the following: You can download the handout from the talk below - and the T-shirt design!


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