Deletion and manipulation of sounds

Deletion and manipulation of sounds are the most complex phonemic awareness skills. Students who are unable to do deletion and manipulation activities as easily as their peers are more likely to have reading and writing difficulties. Research seems to suggest phonological manipulation tasks are the best measures and display a higher correlation with reading measures than segmentation tasks.

Deletion:             Say ‘part’ without the /p/ = art        Say ‘slip’ without the /l/ = sip

Manipulation:  Say ‘mat’. Now take out the /m/ and put /s/ in its place = sat

There is evidence to suggest that deletion and manipulation of phonemes are skills that develop as a result of learning to read and are therefore reciprocal to reading skills rather than prerequisites. Some children find deletion and manipulation of sounds easier using letter tiles, which reflects research showing that phonemic awareness training is most effective when combined with phonics.