Learning the Letter Sounds

Learning the Letter Sounds

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The 42 main sounds of English are introduced first. Children learn each letter by its sound, not its name (for instance ‘a’ is learnt as it is heard in ‘ant’, not ‘ai’ as in ‘aim’). The sounds are not introduced alphabetically, but are in seven carefully-selected groups. The first group (s, a, t, i, p, n) can be combined to create the largest number of simple three-letter words. Letters that are easily confused, like “b” and “d”, are presented in separate groups.

The seven groups of letter sounds are:

s, a, t, i, p, n

c/k, e, h, r, m, d

g, o, u, l, f, b

ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or

z, w, ng, v, oo, oo

y, x, ch, sh, th, th

qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar

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