For little kids, learning to read can also be an intimidating experience. However, one of the first things they should have is a foundational knowledge of words and sounds before they learn to start reading. Parents should help their children develop a good understanding of phonemes, also known as phonemic awareness, for this reason. Teaching little kids phonemic awareness skills will give them a head start in reading! Scroll down to know the importance of phonemic awareness in children.
What Is Phonemic Awareness?
The individual units of sound that makeup words are phonemes. “For example, three phonemes make up the word “sat”: /s/ /a/ /t/. Phonemic awareness is not only a recognition of the fact that words consist of tiny sound components but also of the ability to disintegrate, manipulate and combine phonemes. For instance, the ability to remove /s/ and replace it with /m/ to make the word mat. To begin to read, young readers, need to be able to apply his or her understanding of phonemes.
Tips For Assessing The Phonemic Awareness Levels Of Your Child
Assessing the rate of phonemic awareness of your children can be achieved by:
- Having them construct a series of rhyming words beginning with the word “starter”
- Asking them to divide one word into the sounds of its beginning, middle, and end
- Offer them a word to count the number of syllables in it and make them
If they can execute the above tasks comfortably without struggling, then they are ready for instructions in phonics.
Importance Of Phonemic Awareness In Children
Research has shown that phonemic comprehension is the best predictor of a child’s learning progress. When used to segment and combine words, good phonemic understanding allows children to improve their ability to decipher and comprehend what they are hearing.
Phonemic awareness enables young readers to create another essential reading element: phonics. Phonics (the interaction between sounds and letters) builds upon phonemic awareness. If a child understands the sound verbally and can manipulate it, he is ready to put it into the printed word.
Ways to Teach Phonemic Awareness to Children
You can teach your children phonemic awareness using the following tips:
- Let study times be like a game. Keeping a fun environment can help you learn better.
- Concentrate on every day a little bit. You can help your children learn even 10 minutes a day.
- Stop when your kids start becoming frustrated. Take a playful and positive note to finish every lesson.
- There should be plenty of practice for children showing signs of dyslexia to master phonemic awareness.
- Kids can take a year to learn, so don’t worry if the practice lasts for months.
- Repeat words and sounds as many times as they want to be heard by your children.
- Try to come up with innovative ways to play with example words and sounds during the day with phonemic awareness.
How to Teach Phonemic Awareness In Children
For teachers, caregivers, and learners alike, phonemic awareness instruction is fun. Through games, songs, and developmentally acceptable activities that children enjoy, even structured guidance can be given.
1. Find out where to begin with
It depends on the age and previous phonemic awareness abilities of a child to decide what skills to teach. If a 1st grader is struggling with pre-school skills commonly taught, such as clapping syllables, that’s the place to start! The abilities of phonemic knowledge develop on one another and can not be acquired in isolation.
2. Keep Moving
It keeps children interested by integrating hand and body movements into phonemic awareness tasks, and this kinesthetic learning aspect helps them maintain information for longer.
3. Keep It Playful
It’s possible to turn even the trickiest phonemic awareness activities into a game. If children learn happily, they feel less nervous and more driven to keep going.
Activities For Phonemic Awareness In Children
The activities to enhance phonemic awareness in pre-school and kindergarten children are as follows:
1. Clapping Names
Clapping the names is a wonderful activity to motivate children to clap and count the number of syllables found in their names so that they understand the nature of syllables. Use a variety of names of various lengths and model it when you start the activity with your children. Take a name, and spell it out with a syllable while clapping. Then ask your kids to do the same for you. Ask your kids how many syllables they have identified after they clap.
When your kids have caught up, ask them to clap and depend on themselves. If a name includes a lot of syllables, children can have to count during clapping. When they are happy with a single name, ask them to tap and count the names first and last. After the syllables can easily be counted by name, ask them to keep two fingers horizontally in their chins when dividing the words, so that with each syllable they can feel the chin dropping down.
2. Two-Sound Word
This activity will help you introduce children to phonemes for their words to be analyzed and then phonemes synthesized. A few word cards and blocks are needed.
Ask the child to choose a card and tell the name of the image for this analysis game. For instance, if the child is taking a hair bow photo, start repeating the word slowly with simple pauses (e.g., “b…ō…”). Please ask the kids to repeat the word like that. Place two blocks of two different colors besides the image as you pronunciate it to demonstrate that the word has two distinct sounds. The number of phonemes is highlighted in each word.
The activity of synthesis is just the reverse of the study. Take an image so that the children can’t see it face down. The phoneme (e.g. “b…ō”…) can then be named by phoneme, putting next to the image the colored blocks. Ask the kids to repeat the phoneme by pointing to the blocks, starting slowly and then speeding up. Then you can ask them to imagine the name of the picture.
The teaching of phonemic awareness does not have to be a struggle; it can be as fun as it is worthwhile. By understanding and promoting phonemic awareness, we can help children get started on their literacy trip or provide the tools they need to catch up to difficult readers and writers.
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