Phonemic Awareness EDRD 7715 Dr. Alice Snyder
The Alphabetic Principle Suggests that there is a 1 to 1 correspondence between phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) such that each letter consistently represents one sound; however, English is NOT a purely phonetic language! There within lies the problem!
Alphabetic Principle, cont. • 44 phonemes in English • ‘c’, ‘q’, and ‘x’ do not represent unique phonemes [‘c’ can say /s/ or /k/ and combined with ‘h’ in the digraph ‘ch’ to make another sound • Over 500 spellings to represent the 44 phonemes! • Consonants are more predictable and consistent than vowels • Did you know there are 14 different ways to ‘spell’ the long ‘e’ sound?
Alphabetic principle, cont. • The way a word is spelled depends on several factors, two of which are… -the location of the sound in the word -whether or not the word entered English from another language • Only about 50% of the time are words spelled phonetically- • Non-phonetic spelling of many words reflects morphological information (morpheme is smallest meaningful part of a word)- ex. Sign and signature- if ‘sign’ were spelled phonetically, it would be ‘sine’ but ‘sine’ doesn’t carry the semantic information needed to understand signature
Phonemic Awareness • Children’s basic understanding that speech is composed of a series of individual sounds and is the foundation for breaking the code-[emphasis on the sounds of spoken words, not reading letters or pronouncing letter names!] • Phonemic Awareness is NOT sounding out words for reading nor using spelling patterns to write words—rather, it’s the foundation for phonics • Phonemes are smallest units of speech and are written as graphemes (letters of alphabet) • Children who reach this understanding (phonemic awareness) have accomplished a great thing because phonemes are abstract language units, they carry no meaning- Also, phonemes are NOT discrete units in speech because we often slur sounds together or clip them in speech
Components of Phonemic Awareness • Identifying individual sounds in words -being able to recognize the same sounds in different words • Matching/categorizing sounds to words -identifying words that begin or end with a particular sound/identifying sounds in words that don’t fit with others • Isolate a sound in a word -being able to isolate an individual sound at the beginning, middle, or end of a word • Blend individual sounds to form a word -blend 2, 3, and 4 individual sounds to form a word • Substitute sounds in a word (deleting and adding) -removing a sound from a word and substituting a different sound, either at the beginning, middle, or end; adding sounds at beginning, middle, end of words • Segmenting a word into its constituent sounds -breaking a word into its beginning, middle, and ending sounds THESE 6 COMPONENTS ARE ALL STRATEGIES USED TO DECODE AND ENCODE WORDS, NOT KNOWLEDGE
Teaching Phonemic Awareness • Create a language-rich environment • Songs, chant rhymes, real aloud word play books, play games • In addition, Ters must plan instruction in phonemic awareness- 3 criteria 1. Activities should be appropriate for 4, 5, 6 year old children [riddles, rhymes, wordplay books, nursery rhymes, songs]-good because they encourage playful experimentation w/oral language 2. Instruction should be planned & purposeful, not just done on a whim- must have an objective in mind, based on assessment and observation 3. Activities should be one part of a balanced literacy program & integrated with comprehension, decoding, vocabulary, writing, spelling activities-children must perceive connection between oral & written language
Wordplay Books • Using wordplay books… -1st reading- focus on characters, plot, other interesting things in book -2nd reading-focus children’s attention to the wordplay elements, how author manipulated words & sounds by making comments, asking questions “Did you notice how___and ___ rhyme?” etc. • Incorporate wordplay books, songs, games into minilessons
Sound-Matching Activities • Children choose one of several words beginning with a particular sound or say a word that begins with a particular sound • Ters use familiar objects & pictures of familiar objects • Children can identify rhyming words as part of sound-matching-STs name a word that rhymes with a given word or identify words in a book, song, or poem that rhyme • Dr. Seuss books excellent for this! • Picture Sorts- “Words Their Way” text has great emergent spelling and letter-name spelling stages picture sorts • Other word sorts with simple words sorting by beginning, middle, or ending sounds • Rhyming- “Rounding Up the Rhymes” activity
Sound-Isolation Activities • Ter says a word & children identify the sounds at beginning, middle, end or Ter isolates sounds as they sing familiar songs • The Intruder—trays of objects & children choose the one object that doesn’t belong because it doesn’t begin with the sound • Alliteration and beginning sounds • Ex: I Spy: “I see something that begins with /b/.”
Sound-Blending Activities • Blend sounds together to combine to form words • “What am I thinking of?” game- Ter gives several characteristics of an object and then says name of item articulating each sound slowly & separately- children then blend sounds together & identify the word using phonological & semantic information • Ex: “I’m thinking of a small animal that lives in the pond when it’s young. When it’s an adult, it lives on land and it’s called a /f/ /r/ /ŏ/ /g/. What is it?”
Sound-Addition and –Substitution Activities • Sts play w/words and create nonsense words as they add or substitute sounds in words in songs or in books read aloud to them • Substitute or add sounds at beginning or ending of names & classroom items, ex., substitute beginning sounds in names for the /ch/ sound Ex: Making Words (using basic phonemes)-see example using a, d, D, n, s, t
Sound-Segmentation Activities • Very difficult phonemic awareness task • Children isolate the sounds in a spoken word • To begin, Ter may draw out the beginning sounds in a word, like m-m-mud • Elkonin Boxes good for segmentation- see example • Glass Analysis-see example handout • **Some level of phonemic awareness is a prerequisite for learning to read!!! It is a pre- requisite AND a consequence of learning to read! • Important to explicitly teach phonemic awareness, especially sound blending & segmenting, but do it in meaningful ways in language rich environment
Guidelines for Phonemic Awareness Activities • Use oral activities • Emphasize experimentation • Plan group activities • Read wordplay books • Teach minilessons • Connect reading and writing • Allow for individual differences
Guidelines for Beginning Sound Picture Sorts • Start with meaningful text & choose 2 contrasting sounds (like /f/ and /b/) • Make sorts easier or harder as needed-add 1-2 more sounds to sort • Use a key word and a letter as headers-upper & lower case letters together • Begin with directed sorts in which Ter models • Use sets of pictures that are easy to name & sort • Correct mistakes on the first sort but wait after • Vary the group sorting-face up, face down, some up and some down, etc. • Plan plenty of time for individual practice • Plan follow-up activities-cut, paste, draw, label • Encourage invented (temporary) spelling