It is important for children to have a strong understanding of spoken language, especially how sounds work, before they can understand written language. By having a strong foundation of how sounds work and how these relate to words, reading and writing get easier as children grow older.

teaching phonemic awareness

By teaching phonemic awareness, children will recognize that words are made up of discrete sounds and these sounds can be manipulated to make other words. In this blog post, we’ll look at what phonemic awareness is, how it relates to reading and spelling, and what phonemic awareness activities and programs children can participate in to improve skills.

What is phonemic awareness?

Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness and is also one of the most reliable building blocks and predictors of success in reading and spelling. It is defined as the conscious awareness of phonemes, the smallest unit of sound that can be heard in spoken word. The English language consists of 44 phonemes.

Why is phonemic awareness important?

Focusing on teaching phonemic awareness is essential for children to gain a good understanding of the relationship between letters and the sounds they represent and how they can be used to make other words. Early use of a phonemic awareness program can help early learners build a strong foundation to read and spell in the English language. More so, using the right programs helps keep track of students’ progress, their strengths, and weaknesses. Studies have shown that students that have a lack of phonemic awareness show signs of failing to read or are at a high risk of developing reading difficulty in comparison to other students. Use of phonemic awareness activities such as those found in the Phonemic Awareness program from Essential Skills will make both teaching and learning this crucial skill much easier.

What is involved in teaching Phonemic Awareness?

An effective Phonemic Awareness Program addresses six different awareness skills, which are:

  • Isolation – recognizing different sounds in a word
  • Blending – the action of putting together a sequence of sounds to form a word
  • Segmentation – breaking up a word into separate sounds and counting the number of sounds you hear
  • Deletion – the act of removing a phoneme from a word to make another word
  • Addition – the act of adding a phoneme to an existing word to make a new word
  • Substitution – the act of substituting one phoneme with another to make a whole new word

Phonemic Awareness Programs by Essentials Skills 

Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness is the best interactive multimedia program available for teaching phonemic awareness skills to early learners. Some of the key highlights and features of Phonemic Awareness include:

  • Over 200 activities for teaching phonemic awareness
  • Teaches long & short vowel sounds including sounds of “y”
  • Word family activities teach the concept of rhyming words
  • Unique activities to help develop and teach auditory discrimination
  • Stimulating audio-visual presentation of phonemic awareness rules including click-and-hear examples
  • Teaches 38 different phoneme sounds, how to isolate these sounds in words, as well as addition, deletion, and substitution of these sounds

Visit the Phonemic Awareness program product page to learn more today.