Phonological awareness


Phonological awareness

Phonological awareness is the conscious sensitivity to the sound structure of language. It includes the ability to auditorily distinguish units of speech, such as a word's syllables and a syllable's individual phonemes. The ability to segment and blend phonemes is critical for the development of decoding skills, reading fluency, and spelling. Phonological awareness is an important and reliable predictor of later reading ability and has, therefore, been the focus of much research. Phonological awareness is often confused with "phonics", but it is different. Phonics requires students to match letters or letter patterns with sounds (decoding) and to use this information to read words. Phonological awareness relates ONLY to speech sounds, not to alphabet letters or sound-spellings. Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness.

"Phonological awareness" is demonstrated by awareness of sounds at three levels of sound structure: syllables, onsets and rimes, and phonemes. For example, the word "football" in the General American accent of English contains two syllables, /fʊt/ and /bɑl/.IPA notice The syllable /fʊt/ has an onset, /f/ and a rime, /ʊt/. The individual phonemes in /fʊt/ are /f/, /ʊ/, and /t/. Phonological awareness is further demonstrated by manipulating these sounds, such as by clapping the syllables in the word.

Phonological awareness is developed through a variety of activities that expose students to the sound structure of the language and teach them to manipulate it. Specific activities, like clapping the sounds in words and blending phonemes to say words, as well as less directed activities like songs and nursery rhymes are important developing this auditory skill. Research has also shown that students learn phonological awareness in the context of activities that do involve letters and sometimes even spelling. Although phonological awareness is technically only about sounds, research demonstrates the utility of doing phonological awareness practice in the context of reading activities.

External links

* [http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Phonemic_awareness WikEd's Phonemic Awareness Page]

ee also

*Phonological deficit
*Dyslexia


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