I tried to explain on Opinion why quite a few children find learning to read hard going because learning to read English is much harder than in other languages with alphabetic writing systems. I thought some of u who probably never look at Opinion (which is a bit of a bear pit) might find it of interest. <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font> <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>If English spelling was like other European alphabetic writing systems, it would have around 50 spellings, something like the following 43 with a few extras, and they would all spell just one sound: <font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>a, ai, air, ar, aw, b, ch, d, e, ee, er, f, g, h, i, ie, j, k, l, m, n, ng, o, oa, oi, oo, oo, or, ou, p, r, s, sh, -si- (vision), t, th, th, u, u-e, v-, w, x, z . English has 164 main spellings and also another 33 which are used in only 5 words or less. Some don’t involve extra learning for reading (e.g. –er, -or, -ar endings). But in the course of learning to read, children have to learn to decode the following 123, and 69 of those have more than one pronunciation: a, -able, a-e, ai, air, al, all, ar, are, -ary, -ate, au, -augh, aw, -ay, b, ca/o/ut, cc, ce/i, ch, -cial, -ck, -cy, d, -dge, ee, e-e, eigh, eig, eir, er, ere, eo, -et, eu, ew, -ey, f, ga/go/gu, ge-/gi, -ge, gn, h, i, -i, -ible, ie, i-e, -ie, -igh, ir, is, j, k, kn, l, le, m, mb, mn, n, ng, oar, o-e, -oe, oi, ol, oo, or, ore, ou, ough, oul, our, ow, oy, p, ph, qu, qua, quar, r, -re, rh, s, sc, -se, sh, -sion, -ssion, -sure, t, -tch, th, -tion, -ture, u, u-e, -ue, ur, v-, -ve, w, wa, war, wh, wo, wor, wr, y-, -y, --y, y-e, z .