Phonological awareness and Reading is a complex processes
its role in learning to read Growing up to read: the first 5 years
Obtain cognitive skills
Snow Part I, IRA paper, Acquire language skills
and Bryant’s chapter Develop metalinguistic skills
Levels of phonological awareness
How do we assess phonological awareness
Development of phonological awareness
Reading is a complex process
Reading is a multifaceted process:
3 major accomplishments:
Understand the alphabetic system of English
Alphabetic principle: letter-sound correspondences
Obtain meaning from print
Growing up to read: the first 5
years Acquiring language skills
Learning to read and write begins before Acquiring language skills involves
school years: phonological, semantic, morphological/
Obtain sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and social syntactic and pragmatic development.
skills Knowing a language doesn’t necessitate an
Symbolic concepts about objects:
ability to understand the underlying principles
one object stands for another: golden arches for
McDonald’s (age 3) of the system.
Alphabet is a symbol system for sounds Metalinguistic skills are needed to understand
Acquire language skills language.
Phonological awareness is a
What are metalinguistic skills? critical metalinguistic skill
Metalinguistic skills refer to the ability to think Phonological awareness is unique for
about, and to reflect on language. learning to read an alphabetic language.
Knowledge of what a word is Phonological awareness refers to the general
Young children mistaken the word with the object or ability to attend to or manipulate the sounds
action of language
“train” is a “long” word Spoken words can be phonologically divided into:
“caterpillar” is a “short” one Syllables
Older children understand the distinction between a Onset
word and its referent. Rime
Knowledge of word boundary in a sentence phonemes
Levels of phonological Phonemic awareness: a finer-
awareness grained phonological skill
Three levels: Phonemic awareness refers to the insight
Syllable awareness that words can be separated into a sequence
The ability to detect constituent syllables in words
Appears to be present at about age 4 Phoneme is the smallest sound unit.
The ability to detect that a single syllable can have two
Phonemic awareness emphasizes the
units: onset and the rime awareness of every constituent phoneme in
Present at about age 4 words, rather than the awareness of
May even emerge as young as 2 or 3 via nursery rhymes, etc.
particular phonemes such as onset
Phonological awareness hierarchy How do we assess
Segmenting a vowel
Separating a cluster onset (consonant cluster, See handout “Examples of
e.g., stop) into constituent phonemes phonological awareness tests”
Blending (put sounds together)
Manipulation (add, delete, or otherwise move
Development of phonological Development of phonological
Children develop phonological awareness Phonological awareness is highly correlated
throughout the preschool years. with general language ability.
2- to 4-year-olds: The higher language proficiency, the better
can play with sounds, monitor and correct speech phonological awareness.
can appreciate rhymes Further, semantic and syntactic skills are useful
can appreciate alliteration (onset awareness) for developing phonological awareness.
5- or 6-year-olds
can reliably identify rhymes and alliterations.
can manipulate individual phonemes (later
Development of phonological
Class activities for
Phonological awareness is different from
speech perception. phonological awareness
Speech perception is the ability to differentiate
between spoken stimuli that have many elements See handout
e.g., mail, nail same or not
Children who have good speech discrimination
may have phonological awareness problems.
Phonological Skill is a Causal
What is Phonics? Determinant of Reading Success
Phonics is instructional practices that emphasize 4 yr longitudinal study of 368 kids
how sounds of speech are represented by letters
and spellings An early test of pre-reading children’s (4 yrs
/m/ sound is represented by letter “m” old) sensitivity to rhyme and alliteration
/i/ sound is represented by letter combination “ea” as in predicted reading and spelling success over
Phonics assumes that children have already
the next four years.
acquired phonemic awareness independent of intelligence
did not predict math
Generate examples to demonstrate the differences Is this causal?
between phonemic awareness and phonics.
Phonological Skill is a Causal
Determinant of Reading Success
Over a two yr period the experimenters trained a group of
6-7 yr olds to spot a common sound and say it, and
compared their reading progress to a group not trained in
spotting the sound.
At the end of the project the experimental group was three
to four months ahead of the control group in reading and
no effect on math
In sum, training in phonological awareness helps children
learn to read, particularly when that training is combined
with experience with alphabetic letters and written words.