Support for users of the PronSci and Silent Way charts

For convenience, we've collected together here the guides and articles on other pages of the site that will be particularly useful for users of our English charts.

The English Rectangle charts

The PronSci Rectangle charts are organised along articulatory lines. Each rectangle represents a sound of English.

The following document explains the layouts for British and American English, and includes black and white versions of the charts with IPA symbols (as below), first in a design suitable for self-study and then in a bolder design for the classroom wall.


These can be freely reproduced as A4 sheets or larger posters.

PS Rectangle charts, layout diagrams (20
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.0 MB

You can see the first of three linked videos describing the reasons for the layout here.

Note that while the charts can be used to support any approach to the teaching of pronunciation, they are well adapted to those who use an Articulatory Approach.


The Rectangle charts exist in variants devised for specific teaching situations: where time is very short, where IPA symbols form part of the curriculum, where new teachers feel they need IPA cues, etc. 


For those who are interested, the theoretical underpinnings for the layout of the Rectangle charts are described in the download below. 

Phonetic Guide to PronSci Rectangle char
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.2 MB

Using the Rectangle charts

These charts can be used in two different ways: either (1) as simple phonemic charts or (2) using some advanced features which enable the teacher to work in a more sophisticated way on stress and reduction.

As a simple phonemic chart.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.3 MB
Using advanced features.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.3 MB

In the arrangement of the sounds on the charts, note that:

  1. The vowels, as well as the consonants, are organised by the movements needed to produce them.
  2. The vowels are presented as either high or low energy, at the top and bottom of the chart respectively. This clearly differentiates the 'normal' vowels from schwa and the other reduced vowels.
  3. The consonants, in the middle section, are arranged by place and manner of production as conventionally done. But their grouping also reflects the distinctive articulatory setting of English.

Using the Word and Spelling charts

Guide to the Word charts, April 2023.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.6 MB
Guide to the Spelling charts.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.3 MB

Using a pointer

We have written three guides to pointing: explaining why and how to point, and discussing some other practical issues.

Why we should use a chart and a pointer
Messum 2018 Speak Out, Why we should use
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.4 MB
How to use a chart and a pointer
Young 2018 SO59 How to use a chart and p
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.9 MB
Other aspects of using a chart and a pointer
Other aspects of using a chart and ... .
Adobe Acrobat Document 916.9 KB

Teaching the Articulatory Setting of English

In the third section of the following article, we give practical advice about using 'times tables' for practising the English articulatory setting and problematic sounds.

Bringing the English Articulatory Setting into the classroom: (1) the tongue
Messum and Young 2017, Bringing the Engl
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.8 MB

You can see the first of two linked videos discussing the English articulatory setting here.

Images to assist in presenting the English AS
Articulatory Settings #2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 860.0 KB

Note that Cuisenaire rods and Gattegno's wall pictures for the Silent Way can be purchased through The Cuisenaire Company.