The EI Phonogram
Logic of English teaches the phonogram ei as having three sounds: long /a/ as in beige, long /e/ as in protein, and long /i/ as in feisty. There are only a limited number of words that use the EI phonogram, and many of these words are more advanced vocabulary.
|ei says /ā/
|ei says /ē/
|ei says /ī/
Depending on the dialect, ei will represent /ē/ or /ī/ in the pronunciations of neither, either, and Holstein.
IE the /ē/ of Field
|ie says /ē/
What About Words Like Pie?
We do not teach that ie says /ī/ in words like pie, die, and tie. Instead, we teach these as silent E words using Spelling Rule 3: English words do not end in I, U, V, or J. To keep words like pie from ending with an i, a silent e is added.
What About the I before E, Except After C Rule?
The spelling jingle "use I before E, except after C, and when it says A as in neighbor and weigh" is one of the most commonly recognized spelling rules. Unfortunately, this rule generates as many rule breakers as rule followers. Instead of teaching this spelling rule, knowing the sounds of the phonograms EI and IE is more effective and helps to prevent too many exceptions.