The sounds of English

One-minute video on the sounds of English

Why learn about the sounds of English?

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English has about 40 sounds. Each can be written in several ways. For instance ‘f’, ‘ff’ or ‘ph’.


I’m Rebecca, I’m a tutor at Morley College at Beck at Rotherhithe in South London and I work with adults of all ages who want to improve their literacy skills including reading.  The sounds of English are important, because the way English is written is often very different from the way we pronounce the word and the fact is that Britain as a place has had so many influences on it over the ages that English is made up of words from a variety of languages. so for example the 'ph' as in phone is written with a PH and that’s come from Greek so its important for people to understand that the same sound can be represented in different ways.  For example the word 'mechanic' is CH in the middle that’s the 'k' sound and also the word 'neck' is spelt with CK which is of the same sound.  

Quick tips for tutors

  • A one-minute video designed to illustrate purpose and context of the topic with particular examples.
  • May be used to introduce the topic in class and stimulate discussion around the examples shown.