Teaching Phonemic Awareness

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Children begin to learn and develop various skills as they grow older. One of the most essential skills that they will start to establish is their ability to understand and manipulate the sounds that make up different words. This ability is referred to as phonemic awareness.

A child with phonemic awareness will know that ‘hat’ and ‘bat’ end in the same two sounds. They will also know that ‘hat’ and ‘heart’ start with the same sound but end differently. This ability to identify the various sounds is essential for learning to read and speak correctly.

Developing Language And Sounds

Phonemes lay the foundation for children when they begin to learn oral language. Interestingly, babies are born with the ability to identify the various sounds that make up all of the world’s languages. With that being said, their ears will adjust to the sounds around them by the time they are one, meaning that it will become much more difficult to learn other languages. 

Young children begin babbling to make sense of the sounds they hear around them. Eventually, their vocabulary will grow, and they will string together coherent words and sentences. During their nursery and middle school years, teachers help develop their speaking and reading abilities even more. 

Phonemic Awareness

Very young kids begin developing their phonemic awareness through nursery rhymes, children’s books, and the alphabet. Certain songs, such as Old McDonald Had A Farm, are made up of phonemic strings (E-I-E-I-O) that can improve their sound pronunciation. 

Children often clap their hands or stamp their feet to count syllables in a word. There are also various games that teachers and parents get their students to play to improve their phonemic awareness

Learning To Read And Speak

Without developing phonemic awareness, children will not be able to read or speak properly. When we are very young, teachers will often ask us to read out and repeat one word at a time – this is done to improve our vocabulary and how we pronounce the word. 

Eventually, our word knowledge and phonemic awareness develop so much that we begin to read and speak without interruption. It will take us less time to recognize words when we see them, allowing us to understand what we are reading. 

Concluding Thoughts

Phonemic awareness refers to the ability of people to hear and manipulate the sounds that make words. Children need to develop their phonemic awareness to read and speak coherently. Teachers and parents often use nursery rhymes, children’s books, and the alphabet to help build their child’s phonemic awareness.

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