This month’s Tutor Tip is sponsored by Reading Horizons:
Simply put, phonological awareness is an umbrella term that includes all levels of awareness of the sound structure of words, syllables, and onset and rimes.
A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound or speech that corresponds to letters of an alphabetic writing system. Thus, phonemic awareness is the ability to notice those individual sounds in a spoken word and identify and manipulate them. Why is this important? Since print is speech in written form, children who have phonemic awareness learn to read more easily than children who do not. Tasks that build and assess phonemic awareness include the following:
- Identifying initial phonemes
- Blending phonemes
- Segmenting phonemes
- Deleting phonemes
- Adding phonemes
- Substituting phonemes
- Reversing phonemes
Tasks that have the most immediate impact on reading and spelling are phoneme blending and phoneme segmentation.
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