Phonological Awareness or Phonemic Awareness

"They know most letters and sounds, but are they ready to read?" is a question asked by many parents and teachers.

Maybe, not!

To build a strong reading success, children need to master Phonological Awareness Skills, especially phonemic awareness! So what's the difference?

What is Phonological Awareness?


The ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. It is the big umbrella for all the skills needed to read and write. Language can be broken down into its components:
  • sentences to words
  • words to syllables
  • syllables to onset-rime 
  • onset-rime to phonemes

Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers. Phonological Awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success. A systematic and cohesive approach to teaching phonological awareness can build confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills.

This includes recognizing words that rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, and separating words into their individual sounds.

Teach Magically umbrella of phonological awareness skills
Check out my page with many ideas to teach these skills!

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning.


Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /a/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. So jump as you say each sound to make it more fun!

Research shows that the ability to segment or separate words into parts is the biggest predictor of reading success!(Stanovich, 1993).

 I use these  No Prep Sound (phoneme) Worksheets with BINGO dabbers touch one square for each sound! Writing the letters for the sounds at the bottom builds phonics skills into this fun activity.



 Remember Phonemic Awareness only uses the sounds! Check out how they are related at Phonemic Awareness, Rhyming and Phonics

Can you do phonics?

Phonemic Awareness Worksheet TeachMagically
Of course, but be sure to attach the letter names after the students understand letter names! For students with difficulties learning, add the phonics at the next lesson.

Don't forget to practice phonological awareness skills! Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers. Phonological and Phonemic Awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success. A systematic and cohesive approach to teaching phonological awareness can build confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills.


Can be used for:
✔Beginning Readers
✔Pre-K to 1st Grade (RTI)
✔Struggling Readers
✔Autism or developmental disabilities

7 comments:

  1. love the fact you make a clear distinction between phonologial awareness and phonics!Cute ideas! Wendy 1stgradefireworks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome post and you did a great job explaining and distinguishing between the two!

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  3. Very thorough, thanks for the tips and info!

    ReplyDelete