There are many building blocks involved in the construction of a well-rounded educational curriculum. One of the key pillars in such a platform is phonemic awareness, which when developed properly allows a student to identify and manipulate speech sounds. This type of “sound training” is critical to reaching and teaching young students, and one of the key elements of such a comprehensive teaching tool is phonemic awareness activities.
The Many Benefits of a Phonemic Awareness Program
Teachers and educators know the intrinsic value of phonemic awareness activities and the benefits of phonemic awareness software programs. Students engaged in such curriculums show increasing competency in reading and often residual benefits such as an increase in verbal memory. There are two simple skills that connect the dots back to the value of such teaching:
1) Phonemic awareness improves accuracy. Research has shown that students who regularly engaged in phonemic awareness activities scored higher in terms of reading ability and accuracy, with many making substantial progress.
2) Accuracy improves comprehension. The more accurately a student reads, the easier it will be for them to develop reading comprehension. Without it, a student will struggle to develop this crucial skill.
Beginning with kindergarten classes, students exposed to phonemic awareness activities were more apt to be stronger readers by the second grade. That development continued during later grades as well. Students who develop the highest levels of reading comprehension were taught a curriculum that included some sort of phonemic awareness program or using phonemic awareness software.
The Importance of Slowing Down When Conducting Phonemic Awareness Activities
Beginner readers usually start reading at a slow pace, as little as five to eight correct words per minute. Sound training is critical to the process; readers are not usually able to read faster than they speak until they get to middle grades. Reading slowly encourages us to string sounds together to comprehend the words we’re reading. When speaking we don’t think about the sounds we make; the focus is more on delivering the content. When the focus is on slowing down and stringing together sounds, the brains of students get trained to recognize and recall different sounds. This is especially important when learning new words.
The benefits of incorporating a strong phonemic awareness software program into your teaching are many. Using software developed by Essential Skills will help improve reading comprehension, the ability to read new words, and increase verbal memory. Such software also increases student engagement, allows for individualized instruction, increases efficiency, and allows for important automatic student data collection. Using Essential Skills software, teachers and educators can create personal levels of engagement that aren’t not possible in a traditional group instruction environment.
Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness program includes over 200 fun and interactive phonemic awareness activities for a variety of learning styles. Students learn 38 different phoneme sounds, how to isolate these sounds in words, phoneme addition, deletion, and substitution. It is the most efficient and effective way to teach phonemic awareness skills to students at varying skill levels.