Phonemic Awareness is:
- the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in spoken words and the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of sequences of speech sounds
- essential to learning to read in an alphabetic writing system, because letters represent sounds or phonemes. Without phonemic awareness, phonics makes little sense.
- fundamental to mapping speech to print. If a child cannot hear that "man" and "moon" begin with the same sound or cannot blend the sounds /rrrrrruuuuuunnnnn/ into the word "run", he or she may have great difficulty connecting sounds with their written symbols or blending sounds to make a word.
- essential to learning to read in an alphabetic writing system.
- a strong predictor of children who experience early reading success.
Definitions of key Phonemic Awareness terminology:
- Phoneme: A phoneme is a speech sound. It is the smallest unit of language and has no inherent meaning.
- Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in spoken words, and the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of sequences of speech sounds. Phonemic awareness involves hearing language at the phoneme level.
- Phonological Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate the sound structure of language. This is an encompassing term that involves working with the sounds of language at the word, syllable, and phoneme level.
- Continuous Sound: A sound that can be prolonged (stretched out) without distortion (e.g., r, s, a, m).
- Onset-Rime: The onset is the part of the word before the vowel; not all words have onsets. The rime is the part of the word including the vowel and what follows it.
- Segmentation: The separation of words into phonemes.
Students Should Demonstrate These Skills at the End of Kindergarten:
- Sound and Word Discrimination
- Tells whether words or sounds are the same or different (cat/cat = same; cat/car = different).
- Identifies which word is different (e.g., sun, fun, sun).
- Tells the difference between single speech sounds (e.g., Which one is different? s, s, k).
- Identifies whether words rhyme (e.g., cat/mat; ring/sing).
- Produces a word that rhymes with another (e.g., "A word that rhymes with rose is nose. Tell me another word that rhymes with rose.)
- Orally blends syllables (mon-key) or onset-rimes (m-ilk) into a whole word.
- Orally blends 2-3 separately spoken phonemes into one-syllable words (e.g., /m/ /e/: me; /u/ /p/: up; /f/ /u/ /n/: fun).
- Claps or counts the words in a 3-5 word sentence (e.g., Sue can jump far).
- Claps or counts the syllables in 1-, 2-, and 3-syllable words.
- Says each syllable in 2- and 3-syllable words (di-no-saur).
- Identifies the first sound in a one-syllable word (e.g., /m/ in man).
- Segments individual sounds in 2- and 3-phoneme, one-syllable words (e.g., run: /r/ /u/ /n/;feet: /f/ /ee/ /t/).