English Vowel Sounds and Spellings

Is English spelling driving you crazy? Is it keeping you from recognizing words you already know, or making you afraid to try writing anything in English?

Maybe vowels are the worst. A letter can have four or more sounds, and the same sounds can be written with up to five or more different combinations of letters!

Is there any way to make sense of this mess? Will you ever be comfortable reading or writing in English?

Learning to pronounce and spell English vowels can be complicated. You can do it! How would you feel about a step-by-step process to

  • learn the simple ways to recognize the two most common pronunciations for each vowel,
  • get familiar with frequent vowel combinations and the ways to pronounce vowels followed by an R,
  • and learn the most common exceptions to the rules?

By the end of this course, you should be able to recognize the correct pronunciation of most vowels and the most likely possibilities for the few cases when one or more is possible. Your spelling should also improve as you practice these rules. This course makes it as simple as possible.

Special Offer-- November 2019:

For the month of November 2019, I will be going through this course with a small group of students to try to make it as useful and easy to understand as possible. 

Just for this month, the course will be available for free. We will go through it a week at a time (with two units most weeks), with extra support in exchange for your honest feedback and suggestions.

If you are interested in learning about English vowels and helping to improve this course, please sign up as soon as possible, to not miss out on any of the support.

Course Curriculum

Sounds of 'E' and its Digraphs (Suggested for Monday, Nov.11)
Sounds of I and Its Digraphs (Suggested for Monday, Nov.11)

What's included?

12 Videos
8 Quizzes
1 Survey
14 PDFs
Catherine Simonton
Catherine Simonton

About Your Teacher

I’ve been helping students learn English for nearly 20 years, though I've been fascinated by words and languages my whole life.

I learned how to study vocabulary while studying several languages including Latin (the source of so many roots of English words), Spanish, a little Portuguese (just reading), and Chinese.

That language study has been so enriching, as well as useful, that I want to help others get the same benefits from learning English!

While teaching adult ESL I saw the need for more reading and practice materials, especially for Intermediate students to study on their own. That’s one reason I started the EnglishHints website in 2011.

Reading a lot in English is so valuable for learning vocabulary and ways to express thoughts in English! In fact, for almost anyone who wants to study or work using English, conversational English is not enough. That's why EnglishHints and the EnglishHints Academy include so much academic vocabulary and guided reading practice.

I’ve taken several academic tests in English (as well as taking courses on the IELTS & TOEFL.) In the past, I struggled to write a decent essay in the limited time allowed. After a lot of writing practice I can guide you step-by-step to writing better essays and meeting the criteria of the writing exams. 

I can help you understand the best ways to organize essays in English.  (Some of the expectations  for English essays are different from those in many cultures.) I also offer essay correction/suggestions and teach proofreading so you can face your test with confidence.

P.S. You can reach me with any questions at catherine@englishhints.com