Lesson:Missing vowels

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Missing vowels is a spelling warmer in which students have to correctly spell words without vowel letters in simple, everyday sentences.

For students at lower levels, the aim of the game is not so much the correct spelling of simple words, but rather to revise word order and other grammatical features without students feeling that they are going over the same boring old structures again. For higher level students, idioms and famous sayings are ideally suited to this game. For the more musically inclined, "famous song titles" is always a good variation.

Based on a language feature called redundancy, as explained by Steven Pinker in the following example: "yxx cxn xndxrstxnd whxt x xm wrxtxng xvxn xf x rxplxcx xll thx vxwxls wxth xn “x” – bt t gts hrdr f y dn’t vn knw whr th vwls r."[1]

Sample sentences[edit]

Vowels were replaced by "_" instead of "x" for ease of reading.

  • D_d   y__   h_v_   _   g__d   w__k_nd?
  • Th_y   w_nt   __t   f_r   d_nn_r.
  • Th_r_   w_ll   n_v_r   b_   _n_th_r   y__.
  • Wh_t   _r_   y__   d__ng?
  • H_   d_dn't   f_n_sh   th_   r_p_rt   _n   t_m_.
  • Sh_   s__d   sh_   w__ld   tr_   t_   c_m_   __rl__r   t_m_rr_w.
  • B___t_   _s   _n   th_   _y_   _f   th_   b_h_ld_r.
  • Th_t's   th_   l_st   t_m_   _   _v_r   tr_   t_   d_   h_m   _   f_v__r!
  • W_'r_   st_ll   w__t_ng   f_r   th_m   t_   s_nd   _s   th_   f_n_l   r_p_rt.
  • L_t   m_   kn_w   _s   s__n   _s   _t   _rr_v_s.
  • L_c_   _n   th_   sk_   w_th   d__m_nds.
  • W_th   _   l_ttl_   h_lp   fr_m   m_   fr__nds.
  • Str_ng_rs   _n   th_   n_ght.


  1. Pinker, Steven The Language Instinct Harper Perennial ISBN 0-06-095833-2

See also[edit]

Vocabulary ELT games