Phonetics and Phonology

Major research studies have shown the benefits of systematic, explicit phonics instruction in early grades (Adams, 1990; Beck & Juel, 1995; Chall, 1996; Chall & Popp, 1996) Consider using the following phonological or phonemic awareness activities either in a one-on-one framework or in whole-class instruction.

Assessing Phonological Instruction

Phonological awareness is the understanding of the different ways that spoken language can be broken into smaller components. Segmentation tasks include identifying phonemes in whole words as illustrated in the phonological activities below:

1. Segmentation tasks. Students count syllables and phonemes (tapping tasks, syllable or phonemes)

2. Identifying syllables and phonemes. Example: the first part of the carpet

3. Students supply the missing syllables and phonemes (c) at ca(t)

Blending Tasks

1. Students blend syllables. Example: car-pet.

2. Students blend phonemes. Example: c-a-t

Rhyming Tasks

1. Students rhymes word with pictures

2. Rhyme production. Example: day and say

3. Odd rhyme out. Students identify which rhyme does not belong. Example: mad-cap-sap-tap

Manipulating Tasks

1. Deleting phonemes. Students say “cat” without the “c”

2. Adding phonemes. Students say “mee” and “t” (meet)

3. Substitution. Student put “c” for “p” in “cat”

Phonological and Phonemics Awareness Assessment

The teacher can do any one of the following activities especially for helping dyslexics. By using a test of phonological awareness, the teacher can provide phonemic awareness strategies in a future lesson plan.

1. How many letters are in the alphabet?

2. Say the alphabet in order – note where the sequencing breaks down.

3. Present lower case letters randomly. Ask the pupil to name the letters and to name the sounds.

4. Vowels. Ask the students the names and sounds of the vowels. Elicit the vowel sounds and names by describing or showing pictures of words with initial vowel sounds such as astronaut, elephant, igloo, olive, umbrella.

5. Ask students to write the lower case letters.

Ask students to read three-letter words (CVC). Present each column at a time


* sob

* cat

* cut

* mum

Target: Students should read these words within 30 seconds.

6. Students should read long vowel words mixed with short vowel words.

* note

* tap

* beg

* seem

Again, the target time should be 30 minutes

7. Sentence in increasing length and difficulty.

8. Students find the missing letter in four different alphabet sequences

9. Teacher says the sound, student says the name. The teacher says the name, students say the sound.

10. Phonic drill. Drill the reading of various combinations for the purpose of automaticity. Use the same endings and add different beginning sounds. Later combine the different ending sounds.

-ad -ag

-am -an -ap -at -ack

11. Spelling – dictation.

Dictate the following words. The students have 30 minutes in which to write them.

* nod

* feel

* wise

* hug

* cake

* zoo

* yet

* line

* have

* six

* rope

* mice

* job

* huge

* quack

Ongoing phonemic and phonological awareness assessments provide teachers with clear information about students’ reading ability levels and progress and especially, can help teachers identify those students in need of supplemental phonemic and phonological awareness lesson plans.

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