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Why does Sound Waves Spelling only teach 43 phonemes?

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Why does Sound Waves Spelling only teach 43 phonemes?

Sound Waves Spelling 22/5/16


Ever wondered why Sound Waves Spelling has only 43 sounds while some other phonics programs have 44? The reason is simple: the 44th sound is rarely spoken in standard Australian English. It’s far more common in British English. In other words, we didn’t include the 44th sound because most Australian children hardly ever say it! 

So what is the ‘missing’ sound? In the International Phonetic Alphabet it’s shown as /ʊə/. This vowel sound is best described as the blend of oo in and er in . In England, you’ll hear it in words such as tour and cure.

So how do Aussies pronounce the vowel sound in tour?

According to the Macquarie dictionary, we say the sound three different ways! Most of us pronounce the vowel sound as a blend of [b**oo**t] and . Others simply pronounce it as /or/ as in . And a few of us pronounce it like the English do.

So there you have it – other phonics programs might have 44 sounds, but Sound Waves Spelling prides itself on reflecting what Australian children say and hear.

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