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Unit 24: Spelling the 'schwa' sound - the neutral vowel
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Unit 24: The weak 'schwa' sound: stress in words

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Spelling the 'schwa' sound: which vowel ?

In these words, the stressed syllable is in colour. The vowel sound can be clearly heard and you will have no problems spelling that syllable.

English spelling schwa sound English spelling schwa sound English spelling schwa sound
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The final syllables all sound the same – yet each is spelled differently. The sound gives us limited clues as to which spelling it is!

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English spelling Learning tip When the sound gives no clue about the spelling, you have to use other methods to learn them, for example:

1. Write it down – does it look right? Try some alternatives:

hospitul hospitle hospital

2. Sound the schwa – when you see it written down, exaggerate the vowel sound. For example:

For example, for the word 'camel', say 'camEl'.
Click here to hear this example.

3. Use a method to learn the words you are unsure of (for example, Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check)

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