Phonological awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in spoken language. It is a broad skill that encompasses rhyming, alliteration, syllables, onset & rime, phonemic awareness. Phonological awareness focuses on sounds and not written letters. Phonological awareness is crucial to reading development and is the base for all other reading skills.
Blending sounds are the easiest for students to master, followed by segmenting sounds, deletion of sounds, substitution of sounds, and generating words.
Phonological awareness is such an important part of reading success, especially when working with younger students because it helps develop skills to blend words. When young students come across an unknown word, they can use their phonemic awareness skills to decode and blend words to read. Phonological awareness is one of the biggest predictors of reading success. Research has shown that students who have difficulty identifying the phoneme in a word struggle to decode words. They need to be able to successfully hear, segment, and blend sounds to learn how to read using phonics.
Every child develops phonological awareness skills at their own pace. Having difficulty with these skills can be an indicator of a reading impairment.
Using a multisensory based structured literacy program such as Orton-Gillingham is beneficial if your child is struggling with phonological awareness. This type of systematic, explicit, program will remediate and aid in the development of appropriate reading skills.