Articles & Videos

What is the ‘schwa’?

Paper airplane

Subscribe to our newsletters

Receive teaching resources and tips, exclusive special offers, useful product information and more!


Back to articles & videos

What is the ‘schwa’?

Sound Waves Literacy 26/11/20


The schwa is the most common vowel sound in Australian English and is represented by the most letter combinations (graphemes). Although the schwa is formally taught in Sound Waves in Unit 36, it’s important to talk with students about this sound when they come across it in earlier units as it is often difficult to hear.

The er in ladder is not the same as the er in her. It is called the schwa sound. It is similar to the u un cup but softer. It is the sound of the a in final, and the e in bucket, the i in dolphin, the o in iron and the u in cactus.

More Sound Waves Literacy articles & videos