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How Do Children Demonstrate Phonological Awareness?

Team StoryWeavers|September 6, 2021|

“Johnny couldn’t read until half a year ago for the simple reason that nobody ever showed him how.”

― Rudolf Flesch, Readability Expert

Reading, like writing, is a complex skill and needs to be taught effectively and efficiently. As discussed in our earlier post on the Dolch words, there are strategies that can teach children to read fluently. 

One such strategy is the use of phonics. It is based on letter-sound correspondence, that is, how different sounds represent different letters. Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn app knows the importance of phonics and has integrated phonics into its curriculum to help children understand how letters are linked to sounds. It also teaches young learners how to blend sounds and segment words. Segmentation is the process of breaking up words into separate sounds. For example: The word ‘Dog’ can be split into /d/ /o/ /g/ sounds. The team of Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn app has also included phonics worksheets, quizzes, and videos. It enables children to read fluently by decoding words. The app also exposes children to age-appropriate vocabulary. 

Key Ways In Which Children Demonstrate Phonological Awareness

A book by Dr Bonnie B. Armbruster, Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read; Kindergarten Through Grade 3, lists a few ways in which children demonstrate phonological awareness. Dr Bonnie is an associate professor of elementary and early childhood education and a senior scientist at the Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois. 

Identifying and making oral rhymes

  • The pig has a (wig)
  • The cat has a (bat)

Identifying and working with syllables in spoken words

  • Apple becomes ‘A’ and ‘pple’
  • Water becomes ‘Wa’ and ‘ter’

Identifying and working with the onsets and rimes in spoken syllables or one-syllable words

Onset is the initial consonant sound of the syllable, whereas a rime is a part of the syllable that contains the vowels and all that follows. 

  • The first part of ‘SAT’ is /s/
  • The last part of ‘SWIM’ is /im/

Identifying and working with individual phonemes in spoken words

  • The first sound of ‘BAT’ is /b/
  • The last sound of ‘MAT’ is /t/

Parents should remember that phonemic awareness is one type of phonological awareness. This awareness helps children in multiple ways while learning to read and spell. That is why it is important to teach children sounds along with alphabets. 

It is wonderful to see young learners enjoy reading and writing. Phonics does make this journey more fun and exciting.  When we make early learning fun, they become better learners for life. 

Download the Disney.BYJU’S Early Learn App

Reference: 

Armbruster, B. B. (2010). Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read: Kindergarten Through Grade 3. (n.p.): Diane Publishing Company

About the Author


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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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