To many people, reading begins at that stage when children begin to sound letters. However, that is not right at all. We have so many young kids who get ready for the way before they understand what the letters stand for. The process of reading begins at the point when kids begin tuning in to the sounds of the spoken words. It is exactly at this point that phonological awareness creeps in.
What is phonological awareness
Not so many of us have forgotten doing the and the clapping of the syllabus to “that’s what is all about”. This might have just sounded like a fun game but in essence, it is one tool used for building phonological awareness. This is one key skill that is used for laying the foundation for success for the reading process.
Phonological awareness simply lets kids do the recognition and work with spoken language sounds. For the preschoolers, this means the ability to pick out the rhyming words. Other than that, it also the ability to do the counting of syllables by name.
The process also involves the noticing of alliteration. Phonological awareness simply moves from the noticing to the doing. Once the kids can recognize the rhyming words, they will be able to come up with their rhymes.
Upon identifying the number of syllabus in a word they will be able to break the words apart. The kids will be able to do this by simply breaking the words apart into some single sounds by listening. Phonological awareness is simply made up of a group of skills.
One of the most sophisticated and the latest development as well is known as phonemic awareness. This skill is so essential as it lets the kids tune in to phonemes which is an individual sound in a word. Some of the phonemic abilities include the to do the separation of words into sounds.
These sounds make it possible to make up and blend some single sounds into suitable words. This involves the ability to add or in some cases do the subtraction of the new words in sounds.
The relationship phonological awareness and decoding
Immediately the kids can notice and understand the single sounds then that shows they ready for the next step of reading. Decoding, on the other hand, is one skill that involves the pairing of sounds with those letters which make them. In simplicity, decoding begins in kindergarten.
A strong foundation in phonemic awareness in kids helps the kids to understand certain letters. To some extent, these letters stand for certain sounds. The kids can do this because they can blend sounds into words by simply taking the words apart.
This, in the long run, gives them the head start when it comes to the process of decoding the letter sounds. Other than that, these kids can hold these sounds into the memory and eventually blend them into words.
Signs that kids are struggling with phonological awareness
You must know that kids develop these skills at very different rates. However, some signs could suggest to you that kids are struggling with this process. Below are going to look at some of the sings that reveal a struggle as far as phonological awareness is concerned.
Once you realize that your kids are showing these signs you need to show them more support. Try to help them to understand things even much better. If you are kids are in preschool then the following are the signs you need to look out for.
Trouble in learning nursery rhymes, not enjoying listening to rhyming stories and finally having trouble counting the syllabus.
If your kids are in grade school there is also a chance they could be struggling with phonological awareness. Some of these signs include the students having trouble in the identification of the first words they hear in words. Other than that, if the kids are not able to blend individual sounds into words then that could also be another sign.
There are so many sings that reveal phonological awareness struggle in grade school kids. However, the above listed are some of the signs that reveal a lot in this regard. Once your kid exhibits these signs you also need to offer them the support, they need through this.
Those kids with bigger phonological awareness problems might also struggle with other English components. For instance, such kids might have problems trying to understand questions as well as directions. Other than those two problems, the kids might also have problems trying to understand some new words.
In some worse cases here, kids with this problem might not be able to express themselves properly. Most of them will struggle with any form of expression.
The process of teaching phonological awareness
The good thing is that the majority of the kids do not need to be taught phonological awareness. Normally, the kids will be able to pick up these teachings by being exposed to a rich language environment. However, there are some things like reading nursery rhymes or rhyming skills which also helps in building this skill.
However, there are those kids who do not develop phonological awareness right away even with the required exposure. Such kids have to learn this skill through the use of explicit instruction and practice as well. There are those teachers who teach phonemic awareness in both the kindergarten and the grade one stage.
It is proven that the best way to teach phonological awareness is through the use of evidence-based literacy instruction.
How can you be of help?
There are so many ways you can use in strengthening the kid’s phonological awareness skills. One of the ways you can use to do this is by making the language play the part of the day.
There is no doubt that phonological awareness is our kid’s needs. This is so essential as it helps and enhances the kid’s ability to read at a very young age.