Phonemic Awareness and the Alphabetic
Principle: A Joyful Noise
(This is a PowerPoint presentation about
phonemic awareness. Feel free to use it for staff development and
Phonemic awareness may be defined as the understanding that speech
is made up of separate sounds or phonemes. In order to demonstrate
phonemic awareness, children may be required to perform certain
tasks that manipulate language:
blending phonemes to create a word
counting the number of phonemes they hear in a word
segmenting phonemes of a spoken word
Examples of each of these tasks may be found in most
reading/phonics/phonemic awareness books for teachers.
Research says .
Stanovich's (1986) research indicates that phonemic awareness is the
most potent predictor of success in learning to read . . . and it is
more highly related to reading than tests of general intelligence,
reading readiness and comprehension. Marilyn Adams (1990) goes on to
say that phonemic awareness if the most important core and causal
factor separating normal and disabled readers. She further reports
that the lack of phonemic awareness has been identified as the most
powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure. Ehri (1984)
states that phonemic awareness is central in learning to read and
Hallie Yopp reported the following research findings
in a lecture at SDSU:
Performance on phonemic awareness tasks and reading and spelling
achievement are highly related.
illiterate adults lack phonemic awareness.
correlation between phonemic awareness and reading and spelling
achievement remain significant even when intelligence and socio
economic status are controlled.
Experimental studies reveal a causal relationship: phonemic
awareness facilitates reading and spelling acquisition.
importance of phonemic awareness in reading achievement cuts across
How do We Develop Phonemic Awareness?
This section will definitely take some time! As a former
kindergarten teacher (back in the dark ages!), I am a firm believer
in developing phonemic awareness and playing with the sounds of
language before focusing on print symbols.
Phonemic Awareness Task Development
Chapman, Cheryl. (1993). Pass the Fritters, Critters. New York:
Scholastic, Inc.: rhyming.
Jordano, Kimberly and Callella-Jones, Trisha, Fall Phonemic
Awareness Songs & Rhymes. Cypress, CA: Creative Teaching Press.
Most, Bernard. (1996) Cock-A-Doodle-Moo! Harcourt Brace:
phoneme addition and substitution.
Salisbury, Kent. (1998). There's a Dragon in my Wagon! New York:
McClanahan Book Company, Inc.: phoneme substitution.
. There's a Bug in my Mug!
. A Bear Ate my Pear!
. My Nose is a Hose!
Slepian, Jan and Seidler, A. (1967) The Hungry Thing. Scholastic:
Altoona Baboona: phoneme substitution
The Disappearing Alphabet: phoneme deletion
Please go to Alphabet Avenue and Word Way for more activities that
deal with letter recognition, rhyming and working with word chunks.