1. Listen carefully to the long and short vowel sounds in the following words. Then mark the first vowel letter in each word with a <v> and the next two letters after that either <v> or <c>:
famous vcvthinkvccdance vccsystem vccrule vcvback vccfinest vcvtuna vcvwhilevcvbottle vccsister vcclong vcchuge vcvwhichvcccube vcvthese vcvhome vcvmusic vcvregion vcvsimple vcc
2. Sort the words into these two groups:
Words with ...
3. Now sort the words into this matrix:
||Words with VCC
||Words with VCV
|Words with long vowels
|Words with short vowels system
4. In the pattern VCC the vowel is short, but in the pattern VCV the first vowel is long.
5. The long vowel sounds are [a¯]−−, [e¯]−−, [i¯]−−, [o¯]−−, [oo¯]−−−, and [yoo¯]−−−−.
6. The short vowel sounds are [a], [e], [i], [o], [u], and [oo˘]−−−.
7. The four letters that are always vowels are <a>, <e>, <i>, and <o>.
8. Three letters that are sometimes vowels, sometimes consonants are <y>, <u>, and <w>.
1. In this and the preceding lesson the conclusions about VCC and VCV are stated as absolutes. The idea is to get the patterns firmly into the youngsters' heads in as uncluttered a form as possible. But in later lessons we will see that we need to modify these statements with an adverb like usually or regularly, since each of these patterns can be preempted by other more specific rules. For more on the VCC vs. VCV contrast, see AES, pp. 96-111; the entire discussion of VCC and VCV and (especially for VCV) their various preemptions takes up pp. 90-91 and 96-141.
It is quite possible that students will mention words that don't fit the VCV and VCC contrast — words like general with the VCV pattern (<ene>) but with a short vowel at the head or like roll or haste that have long vowels at the head of VCC patterns. Such students should be encouraged: To be able to find counter-examples demonstrates clearly that they have mastered the concept. Reassure them that most such cases can be explained and will be in later lessons. If you have access to AES, you might check the word index for the words brought up as exceptions. The chances are that the specific word the student has found, or one parallel to it, will be listed there.