Phonemic Awareness: Why is it important?

Last week I wrote a post about Phonological / Phonemic Awareness. Researchers have identified that successful readers are easily able to hear the parts within spoken words. Becoming aware of phonemes (the smallest parts you can hear within a word) greatly assists with word recognition. Some children have a lot of difficulty separating the sounds within the language that they are hearing or speaking, and therefore require extra support.

Phonemic awareness receives explicit attention in every Reading Recovery lesson with special attention given to  hearing and recording the sounds in words for writing. What is learned in writing is also used when the child is taking the words apart while reading, and when working with words at the magnetic  board. Clay, Marie M. (2016) Literacy Lesson Designed For Individuals, p 170.

Late last year the two LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention) teachers spent 2 days learning about the THRASS program and they are currently exploring it’s use at SAEPS. The LLI teachers shared some of the THRASS videos with the SAEPS Literacy Intervention Team.

I thought it might be interesting for you to watch the following video and to hear about the many sounds that are used within the English language. (The exact number is argued by researchers, but everyone agrees that there are many more sounds than the 26 letters of the alphabet.)

The presenter of the video is Denyse Ritchie, the THRASS co-ordinator.

The THRASS program may or may not be introduced to SAEPS. Regardless, the P-2 teachers are exploring ways to add to the phonemic awareness of their students.

Please note: THRASS is a literacy resource / tool. It is not a reading program. Reading is much more than taking words apart. (See Reading is about Meaning.)

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