The Sounds of English

The English alphabet has 26 letters – 21 consonants and 5 vowels; but did you know that you can make a total of 44 sounds with these 26 letters? Little wonder then, that many of us struggle with our pronunciation.

Correct pronunciation and connected speech are the basis for efficient communication and big contributors in creating a good first impression. Native speakers can perceive bad pronunciation to be a lack of overall language competence.

  • Exposure to correct pronunciation at an early age makes it easier for children to pick up correct sounds. No ‘unlearning’ is needed at later stages.
  • Children are typically more unafraid than adults and open to try out new things – this makes learning faster.

The Sounds of English is an interactive programme to help you to produce the sounds and patterns of English clearly without transferring the sounds and patterns of your native language (mother tongue) into your spoken English.

The programme will build awareness about:

  • The 44 phonemes in the English language and how to sound them correctly
  • Syllables and the importance of correct word stress
  • Features of connected speech including
    • Contractions (Eg: don’t for do not; I’d for I would; d’you for do you)
    • Weak forms (Eg: Strong vowel in Tom; weak vowel in atom)
    • Linking (Eg: That’s enough is actually enunciated as That senough.)
    • Rhythm (Rhythm is timing patterns among syllables)

Terrific takeaways

Varied strategies are used to hone listening, help build awareness of sounds and elicit correct pronunciation. These include:

  • Exercises targeting problem sounds
  • Exercises using minimal pairs
  • Tongue twisters, rhymes and songs
  • Pronunciation games and quizzes



I am sure that you are always on the look-out for strategies and tips and tricks to help you master English. But have you ever thought of what you should NOT do when learning a new language?

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