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Phonemic awareness

the ability to hear, identify and manipulate with the individual sounds in spoken words


smallest part of spoken language that makes a difference in the meaning of words - English has 41 phonemes


smallest part of written language that represents a phoneme in the spelling of the word; it can be one letter or several letters


the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes and graphemes

phonological awareness

broad term that includes phonemic awareness. It can involve work with rhymes, words, syllables and onsets and rimes.


a word part that contains a vowel or, in spoken language, a vowel sound (e-vent; news-pap-per; ver-y)

onsets and rimes

smaller than syllables, but larger than phonemes


initial consonant sound of a syllable (bag is b; of swim - sw)


a part of a syllable that contains the vowel and all that follows it (bag is -ag; of swim, -im)

phoneme isolation

recognizing individual sounds in a word

phoneme identity

recognize the same sounds in different words

phoneme categorization

recognize the word in a set of three or four words that has the "odd" sound - which word doesn't belong: bus, bun, rug

phoneme blending

children listen to a sequence of separately spoken phonemes, and then combine the phonemes to form a word, then write and read the word

phoneme segmentation

children break a word into separate sounds, saying each sound as they tap out or count it, then they write or read the word

phoneme deletion

children recognize the word that remains when a phoneme is removed from the word (e.g., smile with s, becomes mile

phoneme addition

children make a new word by adding a phoneme to an existing word (e.g, park becomes spark)

phoneme substitution

children substitute one phoneme for another to make a new word (tell - bell - fell)

phoneme manipulation

when children work with phonemes in words


when children combine individual phonemes to form words or when they combine onsets and rimes to make syllables and combine syllables to make words


when children break words into their individual phonemes or when they break words into syllables and syllables into onsets and rimes

phonemic awareness is most effective

when it forcuses on only one or two types of phoneme manipulation, rather than several types and when children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet

phonemic awareness instruction

is most effective in small groups

phonemic awareness is important because

it improves children's word reading and reading comprehension; helps children learn to spell

phonemic awarenes developed through

identifying phonemes, categorizing phonemes, blending phonemes to form words, segment words into phonemes, delete or add phonemes to form new words, and substitute phonemes to make new words.

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