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Phonological Awareness

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What Phonemic Awareness is Not

Although phonemic awareness is a widely used term in reading, it is often misunderstood. One misunderstanding is that phonemic awareness and phonics are the same thing. They are not! 

Phonemic awareness is the understanding that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words. Phonics is the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes and graphemes, the letters that represent those sounds in written language.  If children are to benefit from phonics instruction, they need phonemic awareness.

Children who cannot hear and work with the phonemes of spoken words will have a difficult time learning how to relate these phonemes to the graphemes when they are written/brailled words.

The focus of phonemic awareness is narrow—identifying and manipulating the individual sounds in words.

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