[Assessment 1420] Phonemic Awareness
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Thu Sep 11 16:20:35 EDT 2008
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Here is another response:
Ted, on the subject of the structure of language, it can be quite
complicated. – beyond my total understanding for sure. A simplification analyzes a
spoken language (English for our sake) in terms of its phonemic structure. That
is of particular value to reading teachers. For the sake of definition, a “
phone” is a speech sound. A “phoneme” is the smallest unit of sound in the
English language that makes a difference in a word’s meaning. “Phonemic
awareness” is the ability to identify, to consciously think about, and to
manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in words. “Phonemic awareness”
activities are oral. For example, “How many sounds do you hear in the word ‘sat’?”
or “What word is left if you take the /m/ away from ‘meat’?” The sense
of phonemic awareness can be developed through a “chaining” spelling
exercise, such as taking the word “in” and saying, “If this says ‘in’, show me ‘
sin’”; then, “If this says ‘sin’, show me ‘spin’, etc. This continues by
making one change each time (omitting a sound, adding a sound or substituting
a sound). Another activity would be doing a “blending” drill. If you do a “
word search” on “phonemic awareness”, you will find many resources on the
internet. IDA and LD Online are two reliable websites.
As for “allophones”, they are the “phones” of a particular “phoneme”.
For example, note the different ways we articulate the sound for the phoneme “t”
. “top”, “bought”, “button”, “little”. In my experience in teaching
reading, I do not emphasize or discuss “allophones”. It is getting too
technical and not necessary in learning to read. As far as the word “awareness” is
concerned, I feel it involves a consciousness of where sounds are in
syllables and their sequence.
I don’t know if I have addressed your question to your satisfaction. This
is how I learned it in my Orton-Gillingham training.
Lake Wales Literacy Council tutor trainer
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Rochelle Kenyon, Ed.D.
Moderator, NIFL/LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List
Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee
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