Phonemic Awareness


  • Source: http://www.k12reader.com/phonemic-awareness-vs-phonological-awareness/
     
    Phonemic Awareness

    While phonemic awareness involves an understanding of the ways that sounds function in words, it deals with only one aspect of sound: the phoneme. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language that holds meaning. Almost all words are made up of a number of phonemes blended together. Consider the word “ball”. It is made up of three phonemes: /b/ /aw/ /l/ . Each of its sounds affects the meaning. Take away the /b/ sound and replace it with /w/ and you have an entirely different word. Change the /aw/ for an /e/ sound and again the meaning changes.

    Phonemic awareness is just one aspect of phonological awareness. While phonological awareness encompasses a child’s ability to recognize the many ways sounds function in words, phonemic awareness is only her understanding of the most minute sound units in words. Because phonemic awareness is a sub-skill under the phonological awareness “umbrella” not all of the measures for determining a reader’s skill level are applied when assessing it. A reader with strong phonemic awareness will demonstrate the ability to hear rhyme and alliteration (the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of several different words used in a sentence or paragraph), find the different sound in a set of words (ie. “bat”, “ball”, “wet”) and blend and segment phonemes.