What Is Phonological Awareness And How Does it develop

Phonological Awareness is “the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words”. These Individuals sounds are called phonemes.We can say that the speech sound is expressed in the words that we pronounce. Every word is made up of syllables, and syllables are made up of sounds. An important question to understand the concepts of phonological awareness and phonemic awareness is: do speakers know, or are they aware, about the organization of sound? There is evidence that speakers are, in fact, able to identify individual sounds in words and that this task is related to specific training in reading and writing at school. The ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds is called phonemic awareness

What Is Phonological Awareness And How Does it develop

That is, the speaker is able to identify that the difference between the words knife and cow is in the initial sound that is / f / in knife and / v / in cow , as well as being able to identify and manipulate the other sounds of those words. However, in addition to identifying individual sounds, a speaker is able to separate words into syllables, perceive the size of one word in relation to another, identify sound similarities between words or part of words and is also able to segment and manipulate syllables and sounds ( rhyme or replace specific sounds). The set of these skills is called  phonological awareness . 

That is, the speaker is aware that the words knife and cowt hey have two syllables and the washed word has three syllables. The speaker is aware that all syllables of the words presented are formed by (consonant + vowel) and that in the vast word the first syllable is formed by (consonant + vowel + consonant). The speaker is able to identify what the words do and bring rhymes due to their final portion.

Difference Between Phonological Awareness And Phonemic awareness

We can say that the concept of phonological awareness is more comprehensive than that of phonemic awareness . While phonemic awareness concerns the ability to consciously manipulate individual sounds or phonemes that make up a word, phonological awareness concerns the ability to consciously manipulate not only individual sounds, but also syllables, parts of syllables (rhyming) and words. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of developing phonological awareness for the acquisition of reading and writing and show that delays in this acquisition process are related to gaps in the development of phonological awareness. Therefore, the development of phonological awareness favors the generalization and memorization of the relationships between letters and sounds.

How Do I teach Phonological Awareness In Classroom

The primary goal of the teacher is to help younger students hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds of speech so that they can learn to recognize and create different words. It is important for teachers to introduce beginning readers to how words are formed with sounds.

What Is Phonological Awareness And How Does it develop

When should I show it?

Phonemic awareness is typically taught in kindergarten and first grade.

Below is an example of how a teacher could introduce the relationship between sounds and words to help students understand how words are formed.

Teacher :  Today we are going to learn about sounds. We will organize the sounds to form new words. To create a new word, they will have to change the first sounds and then say the word out loud. Listen, / they are /. I’m going to change the word “are” to “with.” Remove the first sound / s /.

We have / on /.

Then add / c /.


The word is / with /.

Now change the / c / to / p /.

Say the new word.

uggestions for teaching
  • Start with a simple combination of continuous sounds, such as / m /, / s /, and / f /, rather than short, “stop” sounds, such as / b /, / d /, and / t /.
  • When models of sounds are provided, teach students to observe the teacher’s lips and mouth.
  • Ask students to practice in front of mirrors while the teacher models, so they can see the movement of their own lips and mouths.
  • Use games, music, pictures, and objects to teach the early skills of phonemic awareness.
  • Help students participate in active learning activities. For example, students can show their fingers for each sound they hear in the word “bubbles”. Toys or other small objects can be used with students as signs (for example, a student can pick up a stuffed animal from a cat by saying the sounds / g / / a / / t / / o /).
  • Avoid introducing additional sounds, such as vowels, after individual phonemes (for example, / te / instead of / t /).

Panoramic vision

Phonemic awareness is part of a more panoramic view known as phonemic awareness. Phonological awareness is made up of a continuum of skills that support students as they learn to read and spell accurately. Phonemic awareness (which is made up of combining, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes and words) contributes more to reading success than the other skills of phonemic awareness. The chart below demonstrates this continuum of skills.


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