The Vowel Sound Schwa
5. Schwa is spelled <e> in oven and dozen.
7. Schwa is spelled <o> in confront.
Word Find This Word Find contains fourteen words, all of which contain schwa. We are not telling you ahead of time what the fourteen words are, but we have printed the letters that spell the fourteen schwas in bold type. Your job is to find the fourteen words, circle them, and then use them to fill in the blanks at the bottom of the page.
Schwa is spelled <e> in sentence, problem, and enemy.
Schwa is spelled <o> in confront.
Schwa is spelled <ai> in mountain.
Schwa is spelled <ea> in ocean.
Schwa is spelled <ou> in famous.
2. The most important points of this lesson are that schwa is always unstressed and that most unstressed vowels reduce to schwa. Since there is at least one schwa in most words of more than one syllable, there are a lot of schwas in English speech. All those schwas pose problems for spellers, since they can be spelled, as this lesson shows, with any vowel and nearly any vowel combination.
3. American dictionaries have only been using the schwa symbol in their pronunciation respellings for the last few years. It is important that the students understand how their dictionaries represent the reduced sound we symbolize as [ə].