Is it any wonder that poor NNSs of English are led up (and down) the garden path by English orthography? Take the vowel sound ɪ, for example. This sound can be represented in English spelling by:
<a> as in village
<e> as in except
<i> as in inn
<o> as in women
<y> as in hymn
Admittedly, the first two representations are in unstressed syllables and may turn up in many people’s speech these days as ə rather than ɪ, but I still think this sound is a pretty good chameleon.
No, I haven’t forgotten <u> as a representation of ɪ. Examples please!
Then we have the reverse situation where a spelling is spectacularly chameleonic. Take the digraph <ui>, for instance. Sometimes it represents ɪ as in build, guilt, biscuit etc. Sometimes it turns up as uː as in fruit and juice. And sometimes it’s uɪ as in ruin.
Update: It’s just occurred to me that <ui> can also represent juː as in nuisance in many English accents.
Photo credit: Hans Bernard. Used under this licence.