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Below, observe that you are expected to sound out the "EE" sound as in "SEEN." The list on the left shows all the ways that English spelling is designed to confuse an illiterate student.

The learner must memorize 22 different combinations of letters that signal us to make an "EE" sound as in "SEEN."

Actually "EE" could be used in all these words, as shown on the right side. The American Literacy Council has normalized 44,000 English words into phonic format (like the words on the right) in the book by Edward Rondthaler "American Spelling." This list is merely illustrative. Actually the "EE" sound is involved in over 11,000 words.

Similarly below, the sound "OO" as in moon seems very clear and can be taught in a few minutes.

However there are 23 other ways we signal people to make an "OO" sound., shown on the left side.

If words were normalized to use "OO" exclusively to represent the "OO" sound, no time would be lost trying to decode the irrational 23 other signals that dictate an "oo" sound. Learners should be taught to "sound out" syllables - but in the words that don't use "oo" to represent the "oo" sound, the learner must forget "sounding out" and instead just look at the illogical spelling and memorize that this word is actually pronounced with the "oo" sound even though the "oo" isn't in the word most of the time. About 13,000 words are involved in this irrational "oo" situation.

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