Phonological awareness refers to the ability to recognize that sentences can be broke down into words, and that words can be further broken down into syllables and individual sounds (phonemes).
Studies have shown that phonological awareness training, which focuses on sounds in spoken language, is most effective when it is combined with direct instruction in letter-sound correspondences.
Children who experience difficulty attending to the sound structure of spoken language are likely to struggle with the acquisition of early reading skills (e.g., decoding).
The provision of phonological awareness training has been shown to successfully address the phonological awareness deficits of young readers in French immersion programs and facilitate reading acquisition in both of Canada’s official languages, English and French.
Phonological awareness training increases children’s phonological awareness in an explicit and systematic manner, starting with words in sentences, followed by syllables in words, and finally phonemes in words.
This progression is based on research evidence indicating that phonological awareness develops in a particular sequence in beginning readers.
Due to the fact that the ultimate goal of phonological awareness training is phonemic awareness, a greater number of training sessions will focus on identifying and manipulating phonemes within words.
A child with phonemic awareness recognizes that the word “box” can be segmented into 4 phonemes (notwithstanding the fact that the word has only 3 letters), and that the phonemes /k/ /ae/ /n/ can be blended to form the word “can.”
Each training session will be linked to a popular children’s story, which will result in contextualized literacy experiences that are both meaningful and authentic for the young readers.
Instructional activities at the word, syllable, and phoneme level will be based on vocabulary taken directly from stories that will be read aloud by the instructors.
The children will receive a total of 18 hours of phonological awareness training.