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Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness can be described as a bridge between spoken and written language. Specifically, phonemic awareness refers to the consciousness of sounds within spoken words. It is an auditory understanding and not directly tied to letter–sound correspondences, yet it is fundamental to reading.

History

Historically, educators believed there were two main components in learning to read—visual and auditory elements. Therefore, it was believed that if students were taught the letters (visual) and the sounds (auditory), which is essentially phonics, then students would learn how to decode words. Even though many children learned to read this way, there were some children who struggled to read. During the 1960s, two Russian psychologists, Zhurova and Elkonin, began to realize that there was a relationship between phoneme segmentation (clearly saying each ...

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