Words with schwa spelling practice


How to pronounce and spelling words with schwa sounds

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Lesson Plan Content:

Words with schwa spelling practice

Look at the level that your teacher tells you to, and correct all the spelling mistakes. There is at least one per line.

Try to work out why those spelling mistakes were made and what they all have in common, and use that to help with and check your answers.

Hint: Most of the words which need to be changed are in alphabetical order (by the correct spelling).

Check your answers with the key or as a class.

Practise pronouncing some of the words as they are written with the spelling mistakes, and so with schwa in the normal places.

Test each other on the words:

  • Say the lines as they are written below/ are usually pronounced, and as they are spelt and so not normally pronounced (or vice versa), and see if your partner can say which is which
  • Say a word that is spelt wrongly below as it is written/ is normally pronounced and see if your partner can spell it, giving them the context of the rest of the line if they need it
  • Say a word as it is spelt/ as it is not normally pronounced, and see if your partner can repeat it back with schwa in the right place or places
  • Ask each other some of the questions, making sure you use natural pronunciation with schwa (not how the word is spelled), and not looking at the questions when you are the person who should answer.


Suggested answers

Level 1 about/ accountant/ address/ agree/ apartment/ Britain/ August/ banana/ breakfast/ button/ colour/ dollars/ eleven/ o’clock/ German/ husband/ lemon/ listen/ London/ magazines/ moment/ motorbike/ neighbours/ often/ pasta/ a/ open/ parents/ problem/ question/ salad/ seven/ station/ student/ television/ tomatoes/ visitors


Level 2 afraid/ appointments/ around/ balloon/ beaten/ broken/ celebrate/ chosen/ correct/ cousins/ curtains/ eaten/ elevator/ fashionable/ forgotten/ instrument/ insurance/ marathon/ octopus/ oven/ passionate/ popular/ company/ reason/ recently/ science/ season/ similar/ talents/ umbrella


Level 3 absent/ ancient/ Roman/ arrogant/ Bachelor’s/ burglar(s)/ carbon/ common/ current/ effects/ efficient/ unemployment/ fluent/ forward/ freedom/ hooligans/ imaginative/ instant/ pavement/ petrol/ seldom/ stomach/ tutor/ vegans


Level 4 affectionate/ anthem/ balanced/ beggars/ councillor/ delicate/ organ/ donor/ emperor/ enjoyment/ equator/ heaven/ innovative/ items/ major/ monument/ parrot/ particular/ patience/ sector/ sensible/ servants/ slogans/ sponsoring/ support/ wisdom


Level 1

  1. I’m writing to you erbout…
  2. What do you do? I’m an erccountant
  3. What is your email erddress?
  4. Do you ergree with learning English from very young?
  5. Do you live in a house or an erpartment?
  6. Do you have any holiday plans? Yes, I’m going to Britern in Augerst.
  7. Do you often eat fruit? No, but I often eat a bernaner for breakferst.
  8. How can I turn the lights on? Press this buttern.
  9. What’s your favourite coler? It’s red.
  10. How much was that coffee? It was four dollers and fifty cents.
  11. What time do you usually go to bed? Erleven er’clock.
  12. Can you speak Germern?
  13. What does your husbernd or wife do? He’s a movie acter.
  14. Do you like lemern with your tea?
  15. How often do you listern to textbook recordings outside class?
  16. Are you from Londern? No, I’m from Manchester.
  17. Do you often read magerzines?
  18. Can you write my name? Just a momernt, I’m looking for a pen.
  19. Can you ride a moterbike? No, I can’t, but I can drive a car.
  20. Are your next-door neighbers noisy?
  21. How oftern do you eat paster? I eat spaghetti once er week.
  22. What time does the nearest post office opern?
  23. Do you live with your parernts?
  24. I have problerm. Can you help me?
  25. Can I ask a questern?
  26. Would you like some salerd with your steak?
  27. How old are you? I’m severn.
  28. Excuse me. Where is the train statern?
  29. What do you do? I’m a university studernt.
  30. Is there a telervision in your bedroom?
  31. Do you like termatoes?
  32. How often do you speak to foreign visiters?


Level 2

  1. Are you erfraid of spiders?
  2. Do you have any erppointments this week?
  3. Do you live eround here?
  4. Have you ever ridden in a hot-air berlloon?
  5. Have you ever beatern anyone at chess?
  6. Have you ever brokern any bones?
  7. How do you usually celerbrate your birthday?
  8. Have you chosern where you will go on your next holiday?
  9. So, your name is spelt… Is that cerrrect?
  10. How manty couserns do you have? How old are they?
  11. Do you prefer curterns or blinds?
  12. Have you ever eatern bugs?
  13. Do you usually choose the stairs or the elervator?
  14. Is being fashionerble important to you?
  15. Have you ever forgottern your PIN number?
  16. What’s your favourite musical instrumernt?
  17. Do you have life insurernce? Why/ Why not?
  18. Would you like to run a marathern?
  19. Do you think an octerpus would be a good pet?
  20. How often do you use a microwave overn?
  21. Are you passionerte about any sports?
  22. How populer is food from your country in other countries such as the USA?
  23. Would you like to be a comperny president?
  24. What’s your main reasern for learning English?
  25. Have you been anywhere interesting recerntly?
  26. Did you enjoy sciernce when you were younger?
  27. What’s your favourite seasern?
  28. Which of your parents are you more similer to?
  29. Do you have any special talernts?
  30. Which do you use more often, a hat or an umbreller?


Level 3

  1. How often are you absernt from this class?
  2. Are you interested in ancernt history such as the Romern Empire?
  3. How do you feel about arrogernt sports stars?
  4. How important is to have a Bacheler’s degree such as a BSc?
  5. Are you worried about burglers? Do you have a burgler alarm in your house?
  6. What do you do to cut your carbern emissions?
  7. How commern are house husbands in your country?
  8. What is your currernt job? How long have you been working there?
  9. What bad erffects can traffic noise have on people?
  10. Are you an efficernt worker, would you say?
  11. Is unemploymernt a big problem in your country?
  12. Is being fluernt in English important to you? What can you do to increase your speaking speed and flow?
  13. Are you looking forwerd to the weekend?
  14. Did you have a lot of freederm when you were a teenager, or were your parents strict?
  15. What can police do about football hooligerns?
  16. How imaginertive are you? Is that important in your studies or job?
  17. How do you feel about insternt coffee?
  18. How do you feel about people cycling on the pavemernt? Should they be forced to use the road?
  19. By when should everyone stop using petrerl in their cars?
  20. Are there any foods which you selderm eat? Why don’t you eat them more often?
  21. What exercises would you recommend to get a flat stomerch?
  22. Do you think you would be a good private tuter? What subjects could you teach?
  23. Are there many vegerns in your country? What are the main reasons for giving up animal products?


Level 4 

  1. Do you like affectionerte pets such as dogs?
  2. What do you think about your country’s national antherm?
  3. Do you think that most television news is balernced and unbiased?
  4. How do you feel about giving money to beggers?
  5. Would you prefer to be a local counciller or a national politician?
  6. How do you wash delicerte clothes like woollen sweaters?
  7. Would you be happy to be an orgern doner?
  8. Would you like to be emperer of the world?
  9. Do you get much enjoymernt from cooking?
  10. Have you ever crossed the equater? Which country were you travelling to?
  11. Do you believe in heavern? What would you like it be like?
  12. Are you good at coming up with innovertive ideas? What is the best way, do you think?
  13. What iterms do you usually put in your hand luggage?
  14. Would you prefer to work for a majer company or a small one such as a startup?
  15. Do you have a favourite monumernt? Do you know what it commemorates?
  16. If you could teach a parret how to talk, what sentence would you most like it to say?
  17. Do you have any particuler specialities? How did you learn about those things?
  18. Do you have a lot of patiernce? For example, how do you feel about waiting for buses?
  19. What secter would you most like to work in?
  20. Are you senserble about using money? Is there anything you waste money on?
  21. Would you like to have servernts? What chores would you like them to do?
  22. Do you have any favourite advertising slogerns? What products are they for?
  23. What do you think about betting companies sponsering sports teams?
  24. Do you serpport any local sports teams? How well are they doing this season?
  25. Do you agree that most people have more wisderm?

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