Phonological ability is a skill set necessary for reading and spoken language. Specifically, the ability to hear, process, produce, and manipulate speech sounds (also called phonemes) contribute to a child’s ability to learn to decode words as well as produce age-appropriate speech sounds. This entry provides information about typical phonological ability as well as several suggestions for appropriate assessment and early intervention for children who are assessed as having delayed phonological ability.


Phonological ability can be explained broadly in two ways: receptive skills and expressive skills. Receptive phonological skills comprise phonological awareness, phonological working memory, and phonological retrieval. First, phonological awareness is the explicit knowledge of the speech sounds within the language. Rhyming is a common example of a phonological awareness task. The ability to rhyme ...

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