Phonological Awareness

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  • Phonological awareness is the explicit understanding that spoken language comprises discrete linguistic units of sound structure, such as words, syllables, and phonemes. Phonological awareness encompasses a wide variety of skills that indicate an understanding that spoken language can be analyzed and manipulated based on the sound structure of words alone, independent of word meaning. Phonological awareness primarily develops during the preschool years and is considered one of the strongest indicators for later reading success. Phonological awareness is measured by tasks along a hierarchy of both linguistic complexity (e.g., words, syllables, and phonemes) and cognitive demand (e.g., recognition or manipulation).

    Spoken language does not naturally provide acoustic cues to distinguish the beginnings and endings of words or individual phonemes in words. Early in development, infants and toddlers ...

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