A Step at a Time
The Sounds of the English Language
I think everyone would agree that English is a complex language. Some letters and combinations of letters make more than one sound. For example the spelling 'ow' can say the sounds as in c-ow and s-n-ow. Then some sounds can be represented by numerous different spellings. For example the sound 'ee' can be represented by the spellings: ee, e, i, ie, ey, y and ea. Incredibly complex isn't it!
However, one need not panic. Whilst the English language is complex it doesn't mean that it isn't teachable.
For your information detailed below are the sounds of our language. It is important to remember that pronunciation differs between accents. The sounds given below are a general guide and are based on the New Zealand accent. If you do not have a Kiwi accent then some of the sounds or spellings below maybe slightly different. If you would like sounds more in line with the British accent, you could take a look at Debbie Hepplewhite's Alphabetic Code Overview through Phonics International.
If you would like to hear audio examples for the sounds you could visit Phonics International or Mona McNee's site and simply click on 'Step 1' to hear an example of the first three sounds: c, a, and t.
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