Spoken language is highly important for the success of the students in all areas of their lives. To understand the spoken language well, parents have to create phonological awareness in the early childhood of their child. It is highly important for the child to understand the sounds in a world rather than knowing only the meaning.
Phonemic awareness of English language can be one of toughest early literacy skills you can teach your child. Even though we know that they are only 26 letters in the English language, they combine to form 40 phonemes, or sound units. The sounds in English language are represented by different spellings as well.
The complication is well represented by the two words "ghoti" and "fish" which can sound same phonemically. That is if you take gh = f as in rouGH, o = i as in wOmen, ti = sh as in nation. Imagine the plight to toddlers who will have to read the words perfectly by the time they enter school.
skills that indicate phonological awareness
A child with phonological awareness is able to detect rhyme, repetitions and alliterations in sentences. The child also be able to identify words that start/end with the same sounds, separate or divide bigger words in to smaller unit with syllables and sounds in divided into different sections. Further the child will skilfully blend different sounds to form a single word.
You have to create awareness in your child that words are made up of different sounds which are represented by letters of alphabets. You should also help your child to create different sounds by adding, substituting or deleting letters.
- hat becomes that with addition of ‘t’
- made changes to mad with deletion of ‘e’
- log becomes dog when you substitute ‘l’ with ‘d’
how can you help?
The good news for the parents is that many of the activities like rhymes, listening to various sounds and rhythm which is loved by toddlers help them to develop phonemic awareness as well.
Parents can create activities and games for the toddlers that will require them to identify different sounds which will create phonemic awareness in children.
Buy colourful rhyming books and read it animatedly with your child to make those sessions interesting. The more your child is involved in the activity, the easier it is to learn.
Do not try to explain phonemics to your child. It will only lead to confusion since the child is not yet ready to understand the complex matter.