ITA English Literacy Program

Helping children read!

The Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA)

ITA is a phonemic alphabet with 44 symbols to represent the 44 speech sounds of spoken English. It was invented to help young English-speaking children avoid the confusion of written English, where one letter may represent more than one sound (/a/ in apple and father) or many different spellings (/a/ in ate, freight, train, say). It gives beginning readers a fast start in reading and writing English.

Open the PowerPoint below to practice the sounds and associated English names of the symbols. In each sound-symbol box, click on the audio image to hear the sound and picture name.

Speech Sounds of English-PR