Phonemic awareness facilitates learning to read, so it is important that teachers have a deep understanding in order to teach it effectively.
Studies in Australia have found that teacher knowledge of phonemic awareness is often incomplete (Goldfeld et al., 2020; Hammond, 2015). Good information about phonemic awareness is often not provided in initial teacher education courses (Buckingham & Meeks, 2019).
To best help children grasp reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding), teachers need to understand how spoken and written words are constructed. They need to know the difference between words, phonemes (speech sounds), graphemes (letter or letter combinations representing a single phoneme), and letters.
How many sounds are there in the English language? Can you correctly identify how many sounds there are in the word box? You can further test your knowledge by clicking on this link to the Reading Rockets website: Test your phonemic awareness.
The Centre for Effective Reading Instruction, the international Dyslexia Association and Reading Rockets have teamed up to produce the free learning modules in Reading 101: A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing. To access the module, Further Learning about Phonemic Awareness, simply click on the link below.
Buckingham, J. & Meeks, L. (2019).
Short-changed: Preparation to teach reading in initial teacher education.
Five from Five/MultiLit
Hammond, L. (2015).
Early childhood educators’ perceived and actual metalinguistic knowledge, beliefs and enacted practice about teaching early reading.
Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties
Goldfeld et al. (2020).
Teacher knowledge of oral language and literacy constructs: Results of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a professional learning intervention.
Scientific Studies of Reading
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