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Instructional and Assessment Guidelines By: Chard and Shirley V. Dickson This article defines phonological awareness and discusses historic and contemporary research findings regarding its relation to early reading.
Common misconceptions about phonological awareness are addressed. Research-based guidelines for teaching phonological awareness and phonemic awareness to all children are described. Additional instructional design guidelines are offered for teaching children with learning disabilities who are experiencing difficulties with early reading.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Life is but a dream Bow, bow, bow your boat bently bown the beam.
Bife is but a beam. Sow, sow, sow your soat sently sown the seam. Serrily, serrily, serrily, serrily; Sife is sut a seam. Activities like substituting different sounds for the first sound of a familiar song can help children develop phonological awareness, a cognitive substrate to reading acquisition.
Moreover, developments in research and understanding have revealed that this weakness in phonological processing most often hinders early reading development for both students with and without disabilities Fletcher et al. No area of reading research has gained as much attention over the past two decades as phonological awareness.
Despite the promising findings, however, many questions remain unanswered, and many misconceptions about phonological awareness persist. For example, researchers are looking for ways to determine how much and what type of instruction is necessary and for whom.
Moreover, many people do not understand the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics. Still others are uncertain about the relationship between phonological awareness and early reading. The purposes of this article are to a clarify some of the salient findings from research on phonological awareness and reading and b translate those findings into practical information for teachers of children with learning disabilities or children who are experiencing delays in early reading.
To this end, we answer three questions: What is phonological awareness, and why is it important to beginning reading success?
What are documented effective principles that should guide phonological awareness instruction? What principles should guide the assessment of phonological awareness? What is phonological awareness? Phonological awareness is the understanding of different ways that oral language can be divided into smaller components and manipulated.
Spoken language can be broken down in many different ways, including sentences into words and words into syllables e. Manipulating sounds includes deleting, adding, or substituting syllables or sounds e.
Being phonologically aware means having a general understanding at all of these levels. At the less complex end of the continuum are activities such as initial rhyming and rhyming songs as well as sentence segmentation that demonstrates an awareness that speech can be broken down into individual words.
At the center of the continuum are activities related to segmenting words into syllables and blending syllables into words. Next are activities such as segmenting words into onsets and rimes and blending onsets and rimes into words.
Finally, the most sophisticated level of phonological awareness is phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds or phonemes and the ability to manipulate these phonemes either by segmenting, blending, or changing individual phonemes within words to create new words.
The recent National Research Council report on reading distinguishes phonological awareness from phonemic awareness in this way: The term phonological awareness refers to a general appreciation of the sounds of speech as distinct from their meaning.
When that insight includes an understanding that words can he divided into a sequence of phonemes, this finer-grained sensitivity is termed phonemic awareness.LD OnLine is the leading website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find authoritative guidance on attention deficit disorder, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders.
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