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What is Phonemic Awareness?

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is not phonics, rather, phonological awareness forms the basis of phonics. Phonics is the understanding that sounds and print letters are connected; this is the first step towards “reading.”

  • Because phonemic awareness is a subskill under the phonological awareness“umbrella,” not all of the measures for determining a reader’s skill level are applied when assessing phonemic awareness. A reader with strong phonemic awareness will demonstrate the ability to hear rhyme and alliteration (the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of several different words used in a sentence or paragraph, such as sweet smell of success), find the different sound in a set of words (ie. bat, ball, wet) and blend and segment phonemes.

  • While phonological awareness encompasses a child’s ability to recognize the many ways sounds function in words, phonemic awareness is only the understanding of the tiniest sound units in words.

  • Phonemic awareness is just one aspect of phonological awareness.

  • When measuring a child’s phonological awareness we look at his ability to apply several different skills. A child with strong phonological awarenessshould be able to recognize and use rhyme, break words into syllables, blendphonemes into syllables and words, identify the beginning and ending sounds in a syllable and see smaller words within larger words (ie. cat in catalog).

  • Phonological Awareness, however, encompasses a number of sound related skills necessary for a person to grow as a reader. As a child developsphonological awareness he not only comes to understand that words are made up of small sound units (phonemes), he also learns that words can be segmented into larger sound “chunks” known as syllables and each syllable begins with a sound (onset) and ends with another sound (rime). 

  • Phonemes are the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that makes a difference in a word’s meaning.  Look at the word ball.  It has 3 sounds /b/ /aw/ /l/.  If we switch (or manipulate) /b/ for /w/ we have a whole new word wall.  Change /aw/ to /e/ and we have another new word well.

  • Before children learn to read, they need to become more aware of how the sounds in words work. They must understand that words are made up of speech sounds, called phonemes.

  • Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulateindividual sounds, called phonemes, in spoken words.  Phonemic awarenessactivities can be done with eyes shut.                                                        credit http://www.mrsjudyaraujo.com