The spoken English language is made up of words and sentences, and these words are made up of individual sounds. Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words.
Phonemic awareness and phonics skills develop gradually and sequentially, with direct training and exposure. Students learn to blend separate sounds into words, segment words into smallest units of sounds, understand that words are made up of sounds represented by symbols or letters, understand the relationship between written and spoken language.
Phonemic awareness instruction makes a stronger contribution to the improvement of reading and spelling when children are taught to use letters as they manipulate phonemes than when instruction is limited to phonemes alone. Teaching sounds along with the letters of the alphabet the sounds represent is important because it helps children to see how phonemic awareness relates to their reading and writing. Learning to blend phonemes with letters helps children read words. Learning to segment sounds with letters helps them spell words. Relating sounds to letters is the heart of phonics instruction.
This is a crucial stage of children’s reading journey. We know that a student’s skill in phonemic awareness and phonics is a good predictor of later reading and spelling success or difficulty. We want to ensure that our students have a solid foundation in decoding skills. They will be evaluated as and when they are ready.
When they reach the desired milestone: speed sounds recognition, oral blending and segmenting as well as reading CVC, CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC words, digraphs and sentences, they will be promoted to Reading Wand programme.