Programs and Materials
Phonemic Awareness materials should:
- Progress from easier phonemic awareness activities to more difficult (rhyming, sound matching to blending, segmentation, and manipulation).
- Focus on segmentation or the combination of blending and segmenting.
- Start with larger linguistic units (i.e., words and syllables) and proceed to smaller linguistic units (i.e., phonemes).
- Begin instruction that focuses on the phonemic level of phonological units with short words (2-3 phonemes: at, mud, run).
- Focus first on initial (/s/ /at/), then final (/sa/ /t/), and lastly the medial sound (/s/ /a/ /t/) in word).
- Introduce continuous sounds (e.g., /m/, /r/, /s/) before stop sounds (/t/, /b/, /k/), as stop sounds are more difficult to elongate and isolate.
- Add letter-sound correspondence instruction to phonological awareness interventions after children demonstrate early phonemic awareness.
- Provide brief instructional sessions. Significant gains in phonemic awareness are often made in 15-20 minutes of daily instruction and practice over a period of 9-12 weeks.
(Smith, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 1998; see References)