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Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness may be defined as 'awareness of or sensitivity to the sound structure of language independent of its meaning'. This refers to the individual sounds, or phonemes, that make up speech. Children typically listen for meaning during conversation. They require explicit teaching to attend to the individual sounds they hear and use during speech. The sounds of speech can be represented by alphabetic letter sequences. Therefore, understanding that speech can be broken down into its parts (sounds, syllables, words) is a key for mapping speech onto print, for learning to read and write.

Phonological awareness skills, such as rhyming, segmenting syllables and letter-sound matching, in preschool and the kindergarten years, are strong predictors of later reading achievement. Children with speech and language delays can be at risk for having difficulties with learning to read.

Phonological Awareness screenings are being done with children who are Junior Kindergarten age, on the Talking Tots caseload. Phonological awareness skills are then taught to children who have difficulties in this area.

Finding meaning in speech.