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Learning English - Pronunciation tips
phonemic symbolsSounds and spelling
It's important to note that the spelling of a word is not always an accurate guide to how it is pronounced. Similarly the pronounciation of a word is not always helpful when working out how that word should be spelt.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet but there are many more sounds in the English language. This means that the number of sounds in a word is not always the same as the number of letters.

For example, the word 'CAT' has three letters and three sounds but the word 'CATCH' has five letters but still only three sounds.

If we write these words using sound symbols, we can see exactly how many sounds they have.

CAT is written - cat
CATCH is written - catch

In 'CATCH' the three letters TCH are one sound represented by one symbol tch


In this activity you have to work out how many sounds there are in a particular word, remember, the number of letters is not usually the same as the number of sounds.

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Sounds and spelling exercise (53k)
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 The sounds of English
 Radio programme 1
 Radio programme 2
 Radio programme 3
 Similar sounds
 Unit 1: Key and Pin
 Unit 2: Book and Do
 Unit 3: Door and Coat
 Unit 4: Egg, Cat and Cup
 Unit 5: Sock and Coat
 Building knowledge
 Sounds and spelling
 Connected speech
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