Phonemic Awareness - Pre Reading Skills
Phonemic Awareness is a critical Pre-Reading Skill
Learning to read is an exciting time for children and their families. And while each child is different, most children learn to read following a similar sequence of acquiring reading skills. Time4Learning's Reading Skills Pyramid helps parents understand a common sequence of skill building.
Phonemic awareness is the understanding that words are made up of sounds which can be assembled in different ways to make different words. Once a child has phonemic awareness, they recognize that sounds are like building blocks that can be used to build all the different words.
Time4Learning includes a complete reading program which builds important prereading skills such as phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, print concepts, and the alphabet using a fun game-like animated approach.
Phonemic Awareness overlaps and is often confused with phonological awareness.
Phonological awareness is ability to distinguish distinct sounds. Children without phonological understanding might not have learned to hear the difference between three or free, lice or rice, meat or neat. Phonological is another important prereading skill which also must be learned and practiced.
Children build phonemic awareness
and other pre-reading skills by practicing nursery rhymes and playing sound and word games. Common exercises to develop phonemic awareness include games with rhymed words, games based on recognizing initial consonance.
Tutoring, workbooks, games, or structured computer programs
can help teach or reinforce these skills. Parents help in this process by providing high-quality educational materials, establishing a pattern of daily reading, and creating a rich language environment.
As phonemic awareness is developed,
children should become interested in how words are portrayed in print. Daily reading sessions with the children following along should help develop their understanding of print concept and feed this curiosity. This interest in decoding the words is the fuel for children learning the alphabet and phonics decoding skills.
The "What Works?" Report found that the five key areas in learning to read are phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. For more detailed information on teaching phonemic awareness, look at the Put Reading First Report.