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Phonological Awareness

What is Phonological Awareness? Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds of language. It involves understanding that words are made up of individual sounds (phonemes) and being able to manipulate these sounds through activities such as rhyming, blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds in words.

Why is Phonological Awareness Important? Phonological awareness is a critical skill for learning to read and write. It helps children understand the relationship between letters and sounds, which is essential for decoding words and spelling. Strong phonological awareness skills are associated with later reading success.

Signs of Phonological Awareness Difficulties:

  • Difficulty recognizing or producing rhyming words (e.g., cat, bat, hat).

  • Difficulty blending sounds together to form words (e.g., /c/ /a/ /t/ → "cat").

  • Difficulty segmenting words into individual sounds (e.g., "dog" → /d/ /o/ /g/).

  • Difficulty manipulating sounds in words, such as deleting or substituting sounds (e.g., changing "cat" to "bat").


Activities to Support Phonological Awareness:

  • Reading rhyming books and poems.

  • Playing rhyming games (e.g., "What rhymes with cat?").

  • Clapping or tapping out syllables in words.

  • Breaking words into individual sounds (e.g., "What sounds do you hear in 'sun'?").

  • Playing with magnetic letters to build words and manipulate sounds.


Supporting Phonological Awareness at Home:

  • Read aloud to your child regularly and talk about the sounds in words.

  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes that emphasize rhyming words.

  • Play word games and puzzles that involve manipulating sounds.

  • Encourage your child to dictate stories or letters to practice using and hearing sounds in words.

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