Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Phonemic Awareness

Many parents don't know what phonemic awareness is and many teachers don't focus on it when they are teaching. Did you know that phonemic awareness is the #1 indicator of reading success? Phonemic Awareness is defined (by wikepedia as):a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. Check out my pinterest boards at Phonemic awareness relates to the ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds, such as /f/, /ʊ/, and /t/ in the case of foot. The following are common phonemic awareness skills practiced with students: Phoneme isolation: which requires recognizing the individual sounds in words, for example, "Tell me the first sound you hear in the word paste" (/p/). Phoneme identity: which requires recognizing the common sound in different words, for example, "Tell me the sound that is the same in bike, boy and bell" (/b/). Phoneme substitution: in which one can turn a word (such as "cat") into another (such as "hat") by substituting one phoneme (such as /h/) for another (/k/). Phoneme substitution can take place for initial sounds (cat-hat), middle sounds (cat-cut) or ending sounds (cat-can). Oral segmenting: The teacher says a word, for example, "ball," and students say the individual sounds, /b/, /ɑ/, and /l/. Oral blending: The teacher says each sound, for example, "/b/, /ɑ/, /l/" and students respond with the word, "ball." Sound deletion: The teacher says word, for example, "bill," has students repeat it, and then instructs students to repeat the word without a sound. Onset-rime manipulation: which requires isolation, identification, segmentation, blending, or deletion of onsets (the single consonant or blend that precedes the vowel and following consonants), for example, j-ump, st-op, str-ong. For example, the teacher might say, now say bill without the /b/." Students should respond with /ɪl/. There are other phonemic awareness activities, such as sound substitution, where students are instructed to replace one sound with another, sound addition, where students add sounds to words, and sound switching, where students manipulate the order of the phonemes. These are more complex but research supports the use of the three listed above, particularly oral segmenting and oral blending. for some great phonemic games go to: - or - Use the Brown Bear book activity to teach many language goals including phonemic awareness skills at


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