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How To Help Students With Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is an important skill for students to learn. Its relationship with phonics is highly linked to early spelling and reading success. Recognizing phonological patterns such as alliteration and rhyme and understanding phonemes and syllables within sentences and words is part of phonological awareness.

Learning to read requires a high level of phonological awareness. Due to a lack of this capacity, children struggle to hear the varied sounds in words, making it difficult to read and make sense of letters.

If a student appears to be struggling with phonological awareness, there are several strategies for teachers to assist them.

Before highlighting various strategies to help students with phonological awareness, let us understand the importance of phonological awareness in students’ learning.

Importance Of Phonological Awareness

It is necessary for all students to have good phonological awareness skills, as knowledge of the sounds in words and syllables is essential for segmenting the words they want to spell and hearing the sounds in words they read. Phonological awareness should be emphasized as a fundamental component of early childhood reading education. The focus of phonological awareness in the early years of primary school includes rhyme, syllable, alliteration, and phonemic awareness, particularly sound hearing, manipulation, and segmentation. These are the strongest drivers of phonological success.

Phonological Difficulties

Phonological awareness skills develop at varying rates in children. Still, several red signals may indicate that children have phonological awareness difficulties and require additional assistance. Teachers must understand students’ psychology and provide them with further assistance. Following are a few signals that might help teachers find kids who are struggling with phonological awareness:

  • Preschoolers may have difficulty learning nursery rhymes, counting the number of syllables in a word, observing sound alliteration.
  • Grade-school students may have difficulty identifying the first sound they hear and combining individual sounds to form words.

These are a few signals that might help teachers find kids who need additional assistance. There are various strategies to help students with phonological awareness. A few are listed here.

Various Ways To Build Phonological Awareness In Students

Teachers and parents can develop phonological awareness for early graders during singing, reading, or play activities. Children who have difficulty with these tasks may be exhibiting early indicators of phonological problems. These strategies and fun activities will aid you in introducing phonological awareness and providing further support to students who have phonological difficulties.

Listen And Pick Up

Children have good phonological awareness when they pick up on sounds, syllables, and rhymes in the words they hear. Choose books that have rhyming words or words that have the same sound like each other. It is a fantastic approach to get children to notice rhyming words and to help them improve phonological awareness.

Singing A Tune

Singing, in general, is an excellent approach to teach children to rhyme. Teachers can use a variety of songs to introduce phonological awareness abilities. You can look for phonological awareness songs on the internet. Or feel free to ask phonological experts for recommendations.

Connecting Sounds

Blending sounds is a crucial ability for early graders. They must connect sound units with phonemes to read a word smoothly. You can assist your child in the beginning to work on this concept by combining sounds from various words. Ask children to connect the starting sound of a word to the rest of the word. It is an excellent method of teaching sound blending and thus improving phonological skills.

Guessing Games

You can use games like “I spy” to practice any phonological ability. If you want to teach your kid sound and word recognition, try “I spy something blue that begins with a” and ask them to reply. You can also help your child to practice rhyming by asking, “I'm dressed warmly in anything that rhymes with word boat.” Such guessing games make phonological learning fun, interesting and interactive.

Creative Crafts

Hands-on learning and creative crafts appeal to children. Make a collage out of magazine photographs of products that start with the same sound. Another entertaining approach to practice phonological abilities is with sock puppets. Make a sock puppet that enjoys eating words that begin with a specific or similar sound. Allow your child to “feed” the puppet various photos or objects that begin with that sound. This method of phonological awareness is engaging and helps introduce phonological skills in a fun way.

Jumping Syllables Game

This activity helps students understand how to break down words into syllables. Students explore different sounds by moving syllables around to create new words.

Marker Syllable Game

The marker activity that is commonly used for word counting can also be used to count syllables. Three horizontally connected boxes drawn on a sheet of paper might be given to each child by the teacher. As they hear each syllable of a word, the children insert a token from left to right in each box. It is a good way of teaching syllable counting that is an essential part of phonological awareness.


Throughout the day, you can practice phonological skills with children once you know what interests them and understand the areas that needs improvement. Try playing any rhyming or syllable game to teach phonological skills. Break the mystery words down into distinct sounds by taking turns pointing out what you see. You need to play such fun, exciting and interactive activities with children to help them develop sound blending, alliteration, and segmentation.

Children must be able to distinguish and work with the sounds in words to become fluent readers. You can include sound play into a child’s daily routine in a variety of ways. Young children who play with sounds, syllables, and rhymes develop key reading and phonological skills.

If a child has trouble understanding phonetics, you can help them out by using fun and interactive phonological awareness activities or one-on-one learning approaches.

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