Segmenting and blending sounds

The phonemic awareness skills of segmenting and blending are the most critical because they are pre-skills for reading words. It is important to note that phonemic awareness training has the strongest effect on word reading skills when combined with teaching children about the letters, or graphemes, which represent phonemes.

Segmenting is where the child can confidently break a spoken word into its constituent sounds or phonemes e.g. when given the spoken word ‘wed’ the child can correctly break it apart as w-e-d. When given the word ‘cough’, they can break it apart as k-o-f.

Conversely, blending is where the child is given a series of spoken sounds or phonemes and can correctly put them together, e.g. “Can you tell me what this word says, s-a-t?” and child correctly says, “sat”. When given the sounds b-r-oo-m they successfully blend the sounds together to say, “broom”.

Teacher models segmenting throughout the daily routine

Instruction in speech-sound awareness reduces and alleviates reading and spelling difficulties.

-Moats 2015

Prior to learning letter-sound correspondences, children benefit from training in phonemic awareness tasks such as rhyming, segmentation and blending. When they lack the awareness of the role that sounds play in words, children rarely learn to read easily.

-Marcia K Henry, 2010

There is ample evidence that with many individuals with a phonological-core deficit, their lack of phonemic awareness skills continues into adulthood unless they are directly addressed.



Teacher demonstrates oral segmenting and blending sounds to beginning learners

See it, say it, move it activity

Whole class instruction: segmenting & blending with corresponding graphemes.