Learning the letters of the alphabet and their most common sounds is an important step in your students’ phonological awareness reading and spelling journeys. Skilled readers have a strong understanding of the relationship between letters and the sounds they make.
In Phonological Awareness Book 3: Alphabet Knowledge, children are taught to identify the sound of each letter, blend the sounds together to read whole words and segment words into individual sounds to spell whole words. This is called ‘synthetic phonics’ and has proven to be more effective than other approaches regardless of whether children do or do not experience reading difficulties.
Instruction should be explicit and systematic; and skills constantly reviewed, practiced and applied to real reading.
Phonological awareness is a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language. Children who have acquired phonological awareness are able to clap out the number of syllables in words; identify and produce oral rhymes and can hear and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words (phonemic awareness).
Phonological awareness skills are one of the best predictors of how well children will acquire early literacy skills. Strong achievement in this area makes learning to read, write and spell a lot easier. Therefore, a focus on phonological skills and careful individual monitoring of achievements is needed to ensure successful development of early literacy skills in young children.