More on Phonemic Awareness

For many of us, reading has never been a struggle; we just learned to read and became better with practice. For me personally, I was never taught to read through a phonics based approach–I basically learned by sight.

For others, however, and especially children with learning disabilities, learning to read can be a painful process. Most children with processing difficulties in reading are of average intelligence. As a result, they learn quickly and do understand that they have a problem most students don’t have.

These students need extra intervention, and for these students, learning systematically the process of sounds and syllabication is necessary.

Whether your child has a learning disability or is just learning to read–pretty much all schools use a phonics based approach when teaching reading.

You can practice phonemic awareness with your child/students by: practicing rhyming, learning the individual letter sounds, practicing breaking words up into syllables (e.g. happy is /hap/ /py/), and practicing saying letter sounds out loud and then blending (e.g. cat is the three sounds /c/ /a/ /t/ and then blend to say “cat”).

(A lot of books on reading and programs like Reading Mastery use the phrase, “Say it fast” to prompt students to blend sounds).

Phonemic Awareness and Reading

Getting ready for reading begins way before you begin sounding out words in a story book.

Did you know phonemic awareness does not involve print (that is phonics)?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words, and it is an important key to learning to read.

That is why nursery rhymes and rhyming can be so helpful. They begin to expose your child/student to how changing the beginning sound of a word can make a new word, and the principle that different sounds make different words.