Understanding the Parts of your Mouth

Diagrams to help you learn phonics.

For many people, one of the hardest things about learning a new language, is knowing how to make the sounds unfamiliar to you in your mother tongue. It involves a lot of practice and a basic understanding of where everything is in your mouth.

In our guide for pronunciation and phonics, we often refer to different parts of the mouth. For people, unfamiliar with the terms to describe different parts of the mouth in English, we have made this simple guide to refer to. In some cases, we have sacrificed technical terms for more easily understood terms, so please keep this in mind when using our diagrams.

If you need any more phonics help, check out our Phonics Home page for lessons, flashcards, and articles.

Parts of the Mouth

diagram of the mouth with the parts you need for phonics
Labelled diagram of the mouth and the parts used for speech

Tongue Placement for Short Vowels

For the below diagram, the letters represent the five short vowels, we have chosen not to use their IPA symbols. This is a basic approximation of where your tongue should be in both vowel height and vowel backness. For a more detailed explanation of how to make these sounds, you can take a look at our short vowels explanation post.

chart of tongue placement for short vowels
A simple diagram outlining where your tongue should be in your mouth for the short vowel sounds of English

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