Phonemic Awareness

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Phonemic awareness is not phonics. Phonemic awareness is an understanding about spoken language. Children who are phonemically aware can tell the teacher that bat is the word the teacher is representing by saying the three separate sounds in the word. They can tell you all the sounds in the spoken word dog. They can tell you that, if you take the last sound off cart you would have car. Phonics on the other hand, is knowing the relation between specific, printed letters (including combinations of letters) and specific, spoken sounds. You are asking children to show their phonics knowledge when you ask them which letter make the first sound in bat or dog or the last sound in car or cart. The phonemic awareness tasks that have predicted…show more content…
Focusing on rimes rather than on vowels alone is particularly important in helping children learn to decode words. (Adams, 1990)
Research shows that all proficient readers rely on deep and ready knowledge of spelling-sound correspondence while reading, whether this knowledge was specifically taught or simply inferred by students. Conversely, failure to learn to use spelling/sound correspondences to read and spell words is shown to be the most frequent and debilitating cause of reading difficulty. Many children learn to read without any direct classroom instruction in phonics. But many children, especially children from homes that are not language rich, do need more systematic instruction in word-attack strategies. Well-sequenced phonics instruction early in the first grade has been shown to reduce the incidence of reading difficulty even as it accelerates the growth of the class as a whole. Given this, it is probably better to start all children, most especially in high-poverty areas, with explicit phonics instruction. Such an approach does require continually monitoring children's progress both to allow those who are progressing quickly to move ahead before they become bored and to ensure that those who are having difficulties get the assistance they need.
Sulzby and Teale (1991)
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