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Building Phonological & Phonemic Awareness with PreSchool Phonics:

If your child is still at preschool phonics still plays an important part. You need to help them build good Phonological and Phonemic Awareness or in other words, good pre-reading skills. So how can you build these preschool phonics skills in your child today?

Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness is basically a skill that trains your child's ear todiscriminate between similar sounding sounds.  You will know if your childhas NOT developed good phonological awareness, because they will have difficultyin hearing the difference between words such as

  • gate, mate, weight, late
  • free, three, tree, see, she

It is easy for us to see that these words, are in fact rhyming words. But for a child, this is a skill that has to be learnt or taught.  What canyou do to help?

  • Look for colourful books that rhyme, read and re-read them!
  • Go down memory lane, and sing all those nursery rhymes you knew as a child
  • Read the rhymes out aloud, but pause before saying the last rhyming word in each line and encourage your child to make an attempt at saying the rhyming word that should come next.
  • Remember it is never to early to begin developing phonological awareness.  So read & sing to your babies!

    Phonemic Awareness

    Phonemic Awareness on the other hand deals with the structure of sounds andwords.  It  is important for the development of both a child's languageand literacy skills.  By listening and developing a good phonologicalawareness (as discussed above),  your child will come to realize thatletters stand for the sounds they hear in words.  A child who has goodphonemic awareness will be able to hear the differences between "cot,""cat," and "cut".  They will begin to understand thatthese words are made up of sounds which can be assembled in different ways tomake different words.

    You can do a variety of preschool phonics activities to enhance and developphonemic awareness within your child.

    • Help your child learn the letter names and sounds of the alphabet Spell their name and sound it out to them.
    • Make language a game!  There are heaps of educational games just for this purpose!
    • Encourage your preschooler to pay attention to the sounds in words,
    • When you sing songs and nursery rhymes, show them the matching words on the page.  By following text with your finger,  you will help your child understand that words are made of sounds and help them on their journey to distinguish separate sounds into words.

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