Phonological Awareness & Early Literacy
Phonological awareness is knowledge of the sounds and sound structure of words, as well as the relationships of sounds. It is an awareness of ways in which words and syllables can be divided into smaller units. Skills include the following:
- segmenting syllables in words
- blending syllables together to form words
- blending sounds together to form words
- segmenting the sounds in words
- manipulating phonemes (adding, deleting, or substituting sounds in words)
- manipulating phoneme clusters (adding, deleting, or substituting sounds in a sound cluster).
Phonological awareness skills provide a foundation for achievement in literacy skills. These skills are fundamental to reading readiness (Owens, 2004).
Additional skills that contribute to Early Literacy include print awareness, vocabulary knowledge, narrative skills, and letter knowledge. Early literacy skills can be encouraged at home by reading often with your child, pointing out important words and talking about what they mean, running your finger along the title or words on the pages as you read them from left to right, talking about the pictures in books with your child and encouraging them to say what they think is happening or is going to happen, finding rhyming words in books and talking about them with your child, or creating grocery lists with your child, writing the items down as you say the word out loud. Encourage your child to tell their own stories about exciting events or experiences they have had.