Lesson Note on Introduction to Speech

The Sounds of English

Subject: English
Theme: Speech
Topic: Pronunciation
Sub Topic: Introduction to Speech
Date: dd/mm/yyyy
Class: JSS 1
Duration: 35 Minutes

No of Learners: 30

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lesson learners should be able to:
  1. Classified the forty-four speech sounds in English.

    1. Twenty-four consonants
      1. Fifteen voiced
      2. Nine voiceless
    2. Twenty vowels
      1. Twelve pure vowels
        1. Seven short vowels
        2. Five long vowels
      2. Eight diphthongs
  2. List the twenty-four consonants

    1. The consonant  /p/  Voiceless bilabial plosive
    2. The consonant  /b/  Voiced bilabial plosive
    3. The consonant  /t/  Voiceless alveolar plosive
    4. The consonant  /d/  Voiced alveolar plosive
    5. The consonant  /k/  Voiceless velar plosive
    6. The consonant  /ɡ/  Voiced velar plosive
    7. The consonant  /ʧ/  Voiceless palato-alveolar affricate
    8. The consonant  /ʤ/  Voiced palato-alveolar affricate
    9. The consonant  /f/  Voiceless labio-dental fricative
    10. The consonant  /v/  Voiced labio-dental fricative
    11. The consonant  /θ/  Voiceless dental fricative
    12. The consonant  /ð/  Voiced dental fricative
    13. The consonant  /s/  Voiceless alveolar fricative
    14. The consonant  /z/  Voiced alveolar fricative
    15. The consonant  /ʃ/  Voiceless palato-alveolar fricative
    16. The consonant  /ʒ/  Voiced palato-alveolar fricative
    17. The consonant  /h/  Voiceless glottal fricative
    18. The consonant  /m/  Voiced bilabial nasal
    19. The consonant  /n/  Voiced alveolar nasal
    20. The consonant  /ŋ/  Voiced velar nasal
    21. The consonant  /j/  Voiced palatal approximant
    22. The consonant  /w/  Voiced labial-velar approximant
    23. The consonant  /l/  Voiced alveolar lateral approximant
    24. The consonant  /r/  Voiced post-alveolar approximant
  3. List the twelve pure vowels and their keywords.

    1. The vowel  /iː/ long vowel fleece /fliːs/
    2. The vowel  /ɪ/   short vowel kit /kɪt/
    3. The vowel  /e/   short vowel dress /dres/
    4. The vowel  /æ/   short vowel trap /træp/
    5. The vowel  /ɑː/ long vowel palm /pɑːm/
    6. The vowel  /ɒ/   short vowel lot /lɒt/
    7. The vowel  /ɔː/ long vowel thought /θɔːt/
    8. The vowel  /ʊ/   short vowel foot /fʊt/
    9. The vowel  /uː/ long vowel goose /ɡuːs/
    10. The vowel  /ʌ/   short vowel strut /strʌt/
    11. The vowel  /ɜː/ long vowel nurse /nɜːs/
    12. The vowel  /ə/   short vowel schwa /ʃwɑː/
      NOTE: The /ə/ does not have the sound in its name schwa /ʃwɑː/
      The /ə/ is a neutral central vowel which occurs as the peak of unstressed syllables, the exact sound and quality of the schwa /ə/ depends on the sounds around it and so it is very difficult to produce it in isolation.
      The schwa sound /ə/ has many spellings and can be made with any of the vowel letters a, e, i, o and u, and any combination of the vowel letters.
      Only words of more than one syllable can contain the schwa sound.
      For example, the word computer /kəmpjuːtə/ contains two schwa sounds which have the vowel letter o and the e the unstressed schwa sound /ə/ as their peaks respectively.
      The schwa /ə/ sound is best described as a neutral sound.
  4. List the eight diphthongs and their keywords.

    1. The diphthong  /eɪ/  diphthong face /feɪs/
    2. The diphthong  /aɪ/  diphthong price /praɪs/
    3. The diphthong  /ɔɪ/  diphthong choice /ʧɔɪs/
    4. The diphthong  /əʊ/  diphthong goat /ɡəʊt/
    5. The diphthong  /aʊ/  diphthong mouth /maʊθ/
    6. The diphthong  /ɪə/  diphthong near /nɪə/
    7. The diphthong  /ʊə/  diphthong cure /kjʊə/
    8. The diphthong  /ɛː/  &  /eə/  diphthong square /skweə/
      NOTE: There are two different symbols in common use for the square vowel. The traditional symbol is [eə], which reflects the fact that the square vowel used to be a diphthong. However, it is increasingly common to use the symbol [εː], the Greek letter epsilon followed by a length mark because the square vowel is only very rarely a diphthong these days. In this work, we recommend transcribing /ɛː/,but you should bear in mind that /eə/ is still used in many works, especially in materials for teaching English as a foreign language.
  5. Explain the potential pitfalls to be remembered when transcribing words

    1. We don’t use the letters 'c', 'q' or 'x' in English phonemic transcription. We don’t need them because they are used in English spelling to represent sounds which we already have phonemic symbols for: 'c' is a spelling of /k/ and /s/ (e.g. cut, city), 'q' is a further alternative spelling of /k/ (e.g. queen), and 'x' usually represents /ks/ (e.g. box, extra) or /ɡz/ (e.g. exam, exist).
    2. We don’t use capital letters in a phonemic transcription. The symbol for a sound remains the same at the beginning of sentences, names, placenames, etc. (e.g. Tim /tɪm/, London /lʌndən/ ).
    3. The phonemic symbol /s/ is only used for the /s/ sound, but in ordinary spelling, the letter 's' is often used for /z/ (e.g. his, these, noise, lose) as well as /s/. You must be careful when transcribing /s/ that the word you’re transcribing does have /s/, not /z/.
    4. The digraphs (two-letter spellings) 'ck' and 'ph' in words like back and phone represent single phonemes, /k/ in the back and /f/ in the phone.
    5. In English, consonant letters are often doubled even though they represent a single consonant phoneme. For example, in happy, hobby, matter, ladder, stiff, hammer, dinner and hurry, the letters 'pp', 'bb', 'tt', 'dd', 'ff', 'mm', 'nn' and 'rr' represent single /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /f/, /m/, /n/ and /r/ . Sequences of the same phoneme, such as /mm/ in roommate, /dd/ in midday and /nn/ in unnamed, are rare in English words but when they do occur, they are clearly made up of separate word elements (room + mate, mid + day, un + named), each contributing one of the phonemes.
    6. Naturally, there are no ‘silent’ letters in phonemic transcription as there are in normal English spelling. Knit, for example, is transcribed /nɪt/, and debt is /det/.
    7. We don’t use the letter shape 'g' in transcriptions. The phonemic symbol for the consonant at the beginning and end of the gag is /ɡ/. On the subject of symbol shapes, note also that the symbol for the /w/ phoneme has pointed bottoms and that this is also how we write it by hand in order not to confuse it with a similar IPA symbol with rounded bottoms, namely 'ɯ'.


Reading is a skill that learners communicate effectively. Without a clear understanding of the English sound system and what sounds occur in what words, it’s impossible to discuss, teach or learn English pronunciation effectively. The same is true of connected speech processes and intonation – transcription provides a means of understanding what is otherwise confusing and misunderstood aspects of pronunciation. Any learner that cannot read cannot pass any examination. It is, therefore, necessary for every learner to be exposed to the sound of letters so that they can communicate and read fluently.

Prerequisite/ Previous knowledge:

Learners have learnt the alphabet from a-z and can identify the vowel and the consonant sounds.

Learning Materials:

Flashcards and charts (alphabet and objects.)

Reference Materials:

  1. British English Phonetic Transcription
  2. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary - International Student's Edition
  3. American Heritage Dictionary
  4. Concise Oxford English Dictionary
  5. Cambridge Pronounciation Dictionary
  6. Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary
  7. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
  8. Longman Pronunciation Dictionary
  9. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
  10. Random House Webster's Dictionary

Lesson Development:

full class session (5mins)
The teacher asks learners the following questions:
  1. How many Alphabets are there in English Alphabet?
  2. How many sounds are there in speech sounds?
  3. What is/are the different(s) between the English Alphabet and the English speech sounds?
Learners expected response.
  1. There are twenty-six English Alphabet
  2. There are forty-four speech sounds in English
  3. The English Alphabet is a set of letters or symbols in a fixed order used for writing a language while the speech sound is a sound made in the vocal tract to the air as it passes through it.
Revising the previous lesson and identifying the vowels and consonant sounds.
Step 1. Group Work (5mins)
Guide the learners to form four groups and ask them to choose their leaders and secretaries.

Explain to the learners that of the forty-four speech sounds, Twenty are vowels while Twenty-four are consonants.

Of the Twenty-four English consonant phonemes, seventeen are transcribed with symbols which are the same as letters commonly used to represent the same phonemes in normal English spelling. They are: /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /ɡ/, /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /h/, /m/, /n/, /w/, /l/, /r/, / j/

While the remaining seven are transcribed with symbols that are not represented in English spelling. They are: /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /ʧ/, /ʤ/, /ŋ/, /θ/, /ð/

Of the twenty vowels, Twelve pure vowels. They are: /iː/, /ɪ/, /e/, /æ/, /ɑː/, /ɒ/, /ɔː/, /ʊ/, /uː/, /ʌ/, /ɜː/, /ə/

While the remaining eight are diphthongs. They are: /eɪ/, /aɪ/, /ɔɪ/, /əʊ/, /aʊ/, /ɪə/, /ʊə/, /eə/
Learners form four groups and choose their leaders and secretaries.

Learners pay attention to the teacher.
Inculcating leadership skills, boldness, competitive spirit, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility among learners.

Explaining the potential pitfalls in word transcription.
Step 2. Full class session
The Twenty-four consonant sounds of the English Alphabet.
Give learners a set of words
(pet, lap, town, mat, cap, lock, bet, lab, down, mad, gap, log, chin, batch, gin, badge, fast, safe, thigh, loath, sink, face, shy, wish, hat, vast, save, thy, loathe, zinc, phase, measure, meet, team, nice, fine' long, late, sail, yes, wait, race)
and ask learners to identify the consonant sound pronounce in each word. Let every group read out their answers consecutively.
Learners expected response:
  • /p/pet /pet/,lap /læp/
  • /t/town /taʊn/, mat /mæt/
  • /k/cap /kæp/, lock /lɒk/
  • /b/bet /bet/, lab/læb/
  • /d/down /daʊn/,mad/mæd/
  • /g/gap/kæb/,log /lɒɡ/
  • /ʧ/chin/ʧɪn/, batch /bæʧ/
  • /ʤ/gin /ʤɪn/, badge/bæʤ/
  • /f/ fast/fɑːst/, safe /seɪf/
  • /θ/ thigh /θaɪ/, loath /ləʊθ/
  • /s/ sink/sɪŋk/, face /feɪs/
  • /ʃ/ shy /ʃaɪ/, wish /wɪʃ/
  • /v/ vast/vɑːst/,save /seɪv/
  • /ð/ thy /ðaɪ/,loathe /ləʊð/
  • /z/ zinc/zɪŋk/,phase/feɪz/
  • /ʒ/ measure ˈ/meʒə/
  • /h/ hat /hæt/
  • /m/ meet/miːt/, team/tiːm/
  • /n/ nice/naɪs/, fine/faɪn/
  • /ŋ/long /lɒŋ/
  • /l/ late/leɪt/, sail/seɪl/
  • /j/ yes/jes/
  • /w/ wait/weɪt/
  • /r/ race/reɪs/
Producing and recognizing the consonant sounds.
Step 2. Full class session
The twelve pure vowel sounds of the English Alphabet.
Give learners a set of words
(heel, piece, guild, sick, wrest, sell, add, nap, arms, aunt, what, lock, score, bore, would, bull, two, route, sun, none, heard, turn, barren, seller)
and ask learners to identify the consonant sound pronounce in each word. Let every group read out their answers consecutively.
Learners expected response:
  • /iː/ heel /hiːl/, piece /piːs/
  • /ɪ/guild /ɡɪld/, sick /sɪk/
  • /e/wrest /rest/, sell /sel/
  • /æ/add /æd/, nap/næp/
  • /ɑː/ arms /ɑːmz/, aunt /ɑːnt/
  • /ɒ/what /wɒt/, lock /lɒk/
  • /ɔː/ score /skɔː/, bore /bɔː/
  • /ʊ/would /wʊd/, bull /bʊl/
  • /uː/ two /tuː/, route /ruːt/
  • /ʌ/sun /sʌn/, none /nʌn/
  • /ɜː/ heard /hɜːd/, turn /tɜːn/
  • /ə/barren /ˈbærən/, seller /ˈselə/
Producing and recognizing the vowel sounds.
Step 3. Full class session
The eight diphthong sounds of the English Alphabet.
Give learners a set of words
(rain, faze, eye, hi, boy, join, oh, no, bow, foul, hear, tier, tour, poor, air, where)
and ask learners to identify the consonant sound pronounce in each word. Let every group read out their answers consecutively.
Learners expected response:
  • /eɪ/ rain /reɪn/, faze /feɪz/
  • /aɪ/ hi /haɪ/, eye /aɪ/
  • /ɔɪ/ boy /bɔɪ/, join /ʤɔɪn/
  • /əʊ/ oh /əʊ/, no /nəʊ/
  • /aʊ/ bow /baʊ/, foul /faʊl/
  • /ɪə/ hear /hɪə/, tier /tɪə/
  • /ʊə/ tour /tʊə/, poor /pʊə/
  • /eə//ɛː/ air /eə/, air /ɛː/, where / wɛː/, where /weə/
Producing and recognizing the diphthong sounds.
Full class session (7mins).
Ask the following questions to evaluate the achievement of the set objectives.
  1. How many speech sounds are in English?
  2. Name the twenty vowels.
  3. Name at least ten voiced consonants and five voiceless consonants.
  4. Name the seven short vowels and five long vowels.
  5. List three potential pitfalls to be remembered when transcribing words.
Learners expected to respond:
  1. There are forty-four speech sounds in English.
  2. The twenty vowels are:
    /iː/, /ɪ/, /e/, /æ/, /ɑː/, /ɒ/, /ɔː/, /ʊ/, /uː/, /ʌ/, /ɜː/, /ə/, /eɪ/, /aɪ/, /ɔɪ/, /əʊ/, /aʊ/, /ɪə/, /ʊə/, /eə/
  3. voiced consonant include: /b/, /d/, /ɡ/, /ʤ/, /v/, /ð/, /z/, /ʒ/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /j/, /w/, /l/, /r/

    voiceless consonant include: /p/, /t/, /k/, /ʧ/, /f/, /θ/, /s/, /ʃ/, /h/
  4. The seven short vowels are:/ɪ/, /e/, /æ/, /ɒ/, /ʊ/, /ʌ/, /ə/

    The five long vowels are: /iː/, /ɑː/, /ɔː/, /uː/, /ɜː/
    • We don’t use the letters 'c', 'q' or 'x' in English phonemic transcription.
    • We don’t use capital letters in a phonemic transcription.
    • Doubled consonant letters represent a single consonant phoneme.
Acquiring listing skills and improving their calligraphy and reading skills.
Conclusion, full class session (3mins)The teacher marks their papers and corrects their mistakes where necessary. teacher clarifies the areas where the learners were confused and summarizes the lesson.Learners make corrections where necessary.Learners improve their reading skills.
ASSIGNMENTWrite and transcribe two words each for the forty-four speech sounds in English.Learners answer other questions.Learners improve their reading skills.

Free Will Donation

We know times are tough right now, but if you could donate and support us, be rest assured that your great contributions are immensely appreciated and will be for the progress of our work to help us pay for the server cost, domain renewal, and other maintenance costs of the site. Nothing is too small; nothing is too little.

Account Details



ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2250582550




ADDRESS: 1. M. Aruna Close, Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria

PHONE: +234805 5084784, +234803 5586470



ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2042116266

SORT CODE: 033243371



ADDRESS: 1. M. Aruna Close, Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria

PHONE: +234805 5084784, +234803 5586470

Your active support gives strength to our Team and inspires to work. Each donated dollar is not only money for us, but it is also the confidence that you really need our project!
AseiClass is a non-profit project that exists at its founders' expense, it will be difficult to achieve our goals without your help.
Please consider making a donation.
Thank you.

AseiClass Team

Facts about Teachers

● ● ● Teachers Are Great No Controversy.

● ● ● Teachers are like candles, they burn themselves to light others.

● ● ● Teachers don't teach for the money.

● ● ● Every great mind was once taught by some brilliant teachers.

● ● ● Teachers are the second parents we have.

● ● ● If you can write your name, thank your teacher.

Teaching slogans

● ● ● Until the learner learns the teacher has not taught.

● ● ● I hear and forget, I see and remember, I do and know.

● ● ● The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.

We provide educational resources/materials, curriculum guide, syllabus, scheme of work, lesson note & plan, waec, jamb, O-level & advance level GCE lessons/tutorial classes, on various topics, subjects, career, disciplines & department etc. for all the Class of Learners