In What Ways Can Phonemic Awareness Skills be Targeted Strategically in Early Childhood Classrooms to Support Healthy Developmental Growth?
Date of Award
Master of Arts in Education
Early Childhood Education
Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky
Professor Elisabeth Amirahmadi
phonemic awareness, preschool, kindergarten, pre-reading skills, pre-writing skills
Phonemic awareness is a skill that is learned prior to learning phonics and reading. Phonological and phonemic awareness activities are taught through games, books, and activities. Exposure to phonological and phonemic activities begin as soon as birth and will continue through kindergarten. As curriculum and teachers moved away from explicit instruction in phonemic awareness activities and toward other standards, it has been important to continue to teach these skills. Children with strong phonemic awareness skills are more advanced readers and more advanced writers. Synthesizing the current research and information available included qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method studies in phonemic awareness instruction, articles based on evidence from the National Reading Panel, information from the University of Minnesota on how and why to teach phonemic awareness skills, and a meta-analysis of information on long term results. Articles and textbooks were also useful in identifying ways to teach phonemic awareness skills as well as the proper timing of instruction. The research showed the need for instruction in phonemic awareness skills to young children. The benefits of instruction were tracked for many years and helped the child in both reading and writing. Instruction for young children typically looks like games, activities, and conversation. Phonemic awareness activities taught to children focus on the critical time of preschool and kindergarten which leads to long term benefits in reading and writing.