Phonological awareness is the ability to identify, think about and manipulate the part of words, including syllables, onsets, rimes and phonemes. It is an umbrella term that encompasses other skills such as the ability to identify and produce rhymes, syllables, onset, rimes and individual phonemes or single units of sound.
Phonological awareness is critical for understanding an alphabetic system like English (Moats, 2009b).
Phonemic awareness is a related term that refers to the ability to isolate individual phonemes in a word. For example the word, fast, has 4 sounds or phonemes: /f/ /a/ /s/ /t/. Phonemic awareness is an activity that can be done in the dark because it does not involve print. Phonemic awareness is one of the best predictors of the future reading success of a child. (Moats, 2009; Uhry, 2011; NICHD, 2000).
The importance of phonemic awareness cannot be overemphasized as it provides the foundation of decoding, enabling the reader to unlock the printed word. (Carreker, 2011)
Project Manager, Progress in the General Curriculum Network
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