Phonetic Alphabet


This resource guides you through the Phonetic Alphabet.


On completion PSYV's will:

  • Know the NATO phonetic alphabet


Group room or classroom


It is anticipated that you will require 1 hour to deliver this lesson. Please consider any time you require to plan/prepare by going over the lesson plan in advance.


Here is a great infographic of the Phonetic Alphabet by Visually (VOIP Broker).

Phonetic Alphabet Handout

Phonetic Alphabet Exercise

Activity 1: Phonetic Alphabet Game

Start by bringing everyone together in a circle. Give out the handout and follow these instructions:

The phonetic alphabet is used to clearly communicate by spelling words using special names for each letter. While a single letter may be misunderstood over a noisy radio or phone connection, the words are different from each other, and those who know the phonetic alphabet can communicate accurately. Ask the group briefly, what jobs do they know about that use the phonetic alphabet? The answer is most things that rely on oral communication such as call centres; pilots, emergency services etc.

To play the game: All the participants sit in a circle. Each one is assigned a letter of the alphabet. First, whoever has the letter A starts by saying ‘alpha to’ then the next letter of the alphabet, in this case ‘bravo’. The person with letter B then must say ‘bravo to charlie’ and so forth. Once every person has said their letter, then the fun starts... each person picks a random letter to go to. The person named must answer correctly, and pick another random letter. Anybody who makes a mistake is “out” and in the end, the last person left is the winner.

Activity 2: Phonetic Alphabet Challenge

For this activity adults will act as a series of talking signposts. Following the signposts will lead YV's to a goal. For example signpost one might spell out Romeo, India, Golf, Hotel, Tango 10 paces. The YV's then follow the instruction to meet the next talking signpost.

The cadets will work in pairs and take it in turns to follow the course. At the end you can have cadets find a box with another clue to decipher. Alternatively you can have instructions for a physical challenge like shoot 10 baskets (using phonetics of course!).

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