Basic Rules to Help the New English Reader

Anyone new to learning the English language quickly find that English isn’t easy.  Not only can different grammar structures be difficult to grasp, but the written language is far from matching that of the spoken one. (although easier than to learn hebrew conversation!) We know that the English alphabet is supposed to be a written representation of spoken language; however, any new learner to the language will find that this is far from the reality.

While there are many discrepancies between written speech and the spoken language, there are a few rules that can assist any new English learner in reading and writing.  Of course, because of the nature of the alphabet and the language, there are some exceptions for the rules, but these can be figured out simply with practice and with time.

The first rule that will help new readers in speaking the written word aloud correctly is to understand the letter “e.”  The vowels a, e, i, o, and u all have a few different sounds, but when the letter “e” is found at the end of the word, the vowel in the word will sound like the name of the vowel.  For example, the “a” in “mad” sounds like the “a” in “cat,” but when an “e” is added to the end of the word, to form “made,” the “a” sounds like the “a” in “able.”

There are other rules that will help the new reader out as well.  There are a variety of double letters, or pairs of letters, that will always make the same specific sound when written together.  For example, when you see the double letters “ee,” the sound will be that of the name of the letter “e.”  Also, the pair “ea” makes the same sound.  Therefore, “meet” and “meat” make the same sound, as do “reed” and “read.”  Other double letters or pairs of letter to look out for are “oo,” which always make the same sound, like the sound make in “book,” “cook,” or in “food.”  The pair “ou” makes the sound found in “out,” “mouth,” “cloud” and “found.”   While there are many other rules to learn, understanding these basic rules can assist in the improvement of reading and writing.