Phonological Awareness

little talkerPut simply, phonological awareness is being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds within words.Very young children naturally like to play around with making sounds, e.g. da, da, da.

Authors know that young children enjoy books that rhyme (e.g. The Cat In The Hat), books with alliteration (e.g. The big bad bear…) and books with animal sounds  (e.g. cock-a-doodle-do) and other sounds (e.g. whoosh, whoosh, whoosh). You may have noticed that your children join in with you if you read these sorts of books to them.

Phonological awareness helps children to break down words into parts in order to be able to read and write them. Eventually the student needs to be able to  hear the smallest sounds within words (phonemes). We may have the students clap their name to hear the parts, e.g. Ma-ri-a has 3 claps. We also introduce sound boxes to hear and represent individual sounds.

Some ways you can help your child to develop phonological awareness at home:

– Choose some library books with rhyming words, alliteration, sounds of animals and other things, and poems / nursery rhymes.
– Say the rhymes  with your child. After a few times, pause just before the rhyming word and see if your child can say it.
– Make up silly words that rhyme with your child’s name, e.g. Sam, bram, tam-tam.
– Sing songs and point out some rhyming words.
– Sometimes ask if 2 words rhyme, e.g. Do cat and fat rhyme? Do dog and cat rhyme?
– Say words with word chunks left out, e.g. What word would you have if you left foot off football?
– Put 2 word chunks together. What word would you have if you put hot and dog together?
– Take away a sound. What word would you have it you take b away from bat?

If you would like to know more about phonological awareness or phonemic awareness  go to

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