1. Vowels are open, unconstricted sounds. The English Language has 18 vowel sounds: 5 short vowel sounds; 5 long vowel sounds; 3 r controlled vowels /er/ (spelled er, ir, or ur), /ar/, and /or/; diphthongs /oi/, /ow/; and the vowel teams /aw/, /oo/ (as in book) and /oo/ as in (as in pool). This doesn't include the schwa sound, which takes on a short u or a short i sound in unaccented syllables.
2. The English Language has 25 consonant sounds: /p/,/b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /m/, /n/, /ng/, /f/, /v/, /th/ (unvoiced, as in three), /th/ (voiced, as in those), /s/, /z/, /sh/, /zh/ (as in pleasure), /ch/, /j/, /y/, /wh/, /w/, /h/, /l/, and /r/.
3. Fifty percent of words have short vowels.
4. The English language isn't as unpredictable as people think:
- 50% of words are predictable by rule
- 36% of words are predictable by rule with 1 error, usually a vowel
- 10% of words will be predictable with morphology and word origin taken into account
- Fewer than 4% of words are true oddities.
This is just the beginning of what I've learned from this training. See also THIS POST.