What is Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds
in spoken words. An example of how beginning readers show us they have phonemic
awareness is combining or blending the separate sounds of a word to say the
word ("/c/ /a/ /t/ - cat.")
What it feels like to
me:A child's perspective
When a child
has a difficulty or frustration, they are usually unable to express what is
causing this feeling.Instead they may
say, " I hate this!" ,"It's stupid!", or they may
avoid the task all together.Those few
children who are able to express themselves often tell me:
- When you say change the /b/ sound in bat to /c/. I have no idea what you mean.
- I don't know how many sounds are in my name.
- I don't know the first sound in the word "pan".
- When you give me the words "bat", "cat", "man", I can't tell which one doesn't belong.
I see at home: A parent's perspective
Here are some clues for parents that a child may be
having reading difficulties as a result of his or her phonemic awareness:
doesn't know that words like cat and bat rhyme.
doesn't know how many sounds are in the word "pop".
can't tell me the first sound in his name.
can't tell me the two sounds in "no".
I see in the classroom: A teacher's perspective
Here are some
clues for teachers that a child may be having reading difficulties as a result
of his or her phonemic awareness:
has difficulty substituting sounds in words.
I say, "The word is bun. Change /n/ to /g/. She doesn't know the new word is
can't separate the sounds in a word, and is unable to count them.
is unable to identify individual sounds in a word.
is unable to blend sounds into a word. /c/-/a/-/t/ = "cat".