The 44 English phonemes are represented by the 26 letters of the alphabet individually and in combination. Phonics instruction involves teaching the relationship between sounds and the letters used to represent them. There are hundreds of spelling alternatives that can be used to represent the 44 English phonemes.

We have divided the 44 English sounds into the following categories: consonant sounds (yellow), consonant digraph sounds (lime), short vowel sounds (red), long vowel sounds (green) and 'r' controlled vowel sounds (purple). The same colour coding is used throughout the Letters and Sounds and Smart Phonics magnetic resources.

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