The Sounds of English and Their Representation

In English, there is no one-to-one relation between the system of writing and the system of pronunciation. 
The alphabet which we use to write English has 26 letters but in (Standard British) English there are approximately 44 speach sounds.
 The number of speech sounds in English varies from dialect to dialect, and any actually depends greatly on the interpretation of the researcher doing the counting. 
To represent the basic sound of spoken languages linguists use a set of phonetic symbols called the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Activity 1. Click on each phonetic symbol and then listen and repeat.

How Many Vowels Are There in English? (Hint: It's More Than AEIOUY.)

How many vowels does English have? Five, right? A, E, I, O, U. Oh, and sometimes Y. So, six? Actually, English has at least 14 different vowel sounds and,depending on the speaker and dialect, maybe more than 20.
Resultado de imagen de english vowels


BBC Learning English - The Sounds of English