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April Ford

on 3 October 2015

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Phonological Awareness is “recognition that spoken language is comprised of individual sounds” (Farell et al., 2010, pg 9).
Phonological awareness is a “building block for decoding” (Farell and Matthews, 2010, pg 18). Strong phonological skills help students hear comparisons for different and same sounding words which eventually helps the student learn to read. Having a solid understanding of phonics is an indicator of reading success in the future.
Phonics helps children learn to:
• Sound out words
• Blend words
• Segment words
• Decode words
Phonological Awareness
The instruction of developing phonological awareness should be guided, especially for individuals with mild to moderate learning disabilities.
Those students who have poor phonological awareness skills are often at risk for reading difficulties in the future.
When teaching phonics, rhyming should not be focused on. If a student does not understand rhyme, phoneme skills should not be delayed. The student should start by learning individual sounds. The phonological skills can be scaffolded starting with going back to gaining a clear understanding of letter sounds. Then teach segmenting and blending words and syllables. Finally teach segmenting phonemes.
"The more advanced the skill of phoneme blending, segmenting, and manipulation are most related to success in learning to read" (Vaugh and Bos, 2015, pg 180)
Teaching Phonological Awareness
How and when to teach skills:

• Letter sounds should be introduced by the sound they produce so students are able to see how the letter relates to words and reading.
• Phonological Awareness training is best taught with individuals, pairs, or small group instruction for a minimum of 10-15 minutes a day.
• Small groups can be used to differentiate instruction based on the skills of the students.
• Provide multiple opportunities for students to practice during the day.

Phonological Awareness Mapping Instruction
The following is an example taken from the Phonological Awareness Instructional Guide (n.d.). This gives an example of how and when phonological awareness can be taught and reviewed through a school year.
Phonological Awareness Training
Phonological awareness training includes teaching a variety of different skills including:
rhyme detection
blend training
segmentation training
awareness of syllables
identifying initial and final sounds
manipulating phonemes
The activities that can be used to teach phonics are endless. With a little bit of imagination, phonics can be fun!

Listening for sounds and words:
Activity: Echo
Objective: To listen carefully to reproduce like sounds.
Procedure: Tap on a drum in an irregular sequence (tap-(rest)-tap-tap). Have the children try to imitate the series

Activity: Listen for Foods
Objective: To have the student listen carefully to the words and identify what word in the group is a food. Below is an example of this activity.

Activities (cont)

Activity: Nursery Rhymes Rhyming
Objective: Develop and understanding of rhyme.
Procedure: Read a nursery rhyme, repeat each line and clap on the rhyming word, encourage children to identify the rhyming word.

Activity: Rhyme Away Story
Objective: To develop rhyming skills and understanding.
The next video is an example of a Rhyme Away Story.

Sentence Segmentation
Activity: Hop It
Objective: To develop the explicit awareness that speech can be segmented into parts. Words can be represented concretely through physical movement.
Procedure: Say a series of three words in a row. Now ask students to hop every time they hear one word.
Awareness of Syllables

Activity: Rhyme Time March
Procedure: Distribute rhythm sticks, drums, or maracas. Sing common songs (Twinkle, Twinkle) tapping the syllabic beat in place of the repetitive word. Then have half the students tap the beat while others count the number of beats.
Identify Initial or Final Sound

Activity: Initial Sound ID
Objective: To be able to recognize initial sounds in words.
Procedure: Select a target sound. Instruct children to give a "thumbs up" signal each time they hear the target sound at the beginning of the word. Read several words, some of which have the targeted sound and others which do not.

Activity: What Big Ears You Have
Objective: To be able to recognize final sounds in words.
Procedure: Say, "Listen, listen loud and clear. What's the last sound that you hear? (log, frog, bag, pig) Tell me, tell me what you hear." Ask the children to identify the ending sound.
Blending, Segmenting, and Manipulating Phonemes
Activity: Listening First, Looking After
Objective: To show students how to synthesize syllables spoken one by one into familiar words.
Procedure: This game requires a set of pictures, each depicting a familiar object. Choose pictures of objects that have names of differing syllables. Hold up your stack of pictures and explain that you will say the name of each, but in a very strange way-one syllable at a time. Encourage the children to listen carefully and to figure out each picture named. In naming each picture, speak in a strict monotone and insert a clear pause between each syllable. When the children figure out each word, hold p the picture and have the children repeat the word in both normal and syllable-by-syllable-fashion.
Review the Phonological Awareness Training slide.
Choose two skills and develop an activity that can be used to teach that skill. Include an objective as well as the procedure. Be Creative!!!
Bradley, B., Probeck, L., Sobolak, M., Su, D., and Tucciarone, H. (n.d.).
Phonological Awareness Instructional Guide

Farrell, M. and Matthews, F. (2010).
Ready to read: A multisensory approach to language-based comprehension instruction
. Baltimore: Brooks Publishing

Laz, L. (2009).
Teaching emergent literacy skills to students with autism
. Retrieved from: http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=sped_gradproj

Vaughn, S. and Bos, C. (2015).
Strategies for teaching students with learning and behavior problems.
Boston: Pearson

What Works Clearinghouse (2006).
Phonological Awareness Training
. Retrieved from: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/intervention_reports/WWC_Phonological_Awareness_121406.pdf

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