Why Phonemic Awareness is important in reading

Phonemic awareness is one of the essential skills your child needs when learning how to read. Before you continue, we advise first you read our article on 10 skills your kid needs to start reading. You will find skills your child needs to perfect reading.

In this article, we are offering in-depth information about Phonemic awareness. Basically, this is the most important skill in reading and plays an indispensable role in improving spelling. Keep reading!

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness involves identifying, hearing, and working with the smallest units of sound. These sounds are known as phonemes. It differs from phonological awareness in that Phonemic awareness narrows to phonemes and manipulating individual sounds. On the other hand, phonological awareness deals with identifying, hearing, and manipulating larger units like rhymes and onsets.

If you want your kids to perfect reading and spelling, it is advisable to teach them phonemic awareness earliest possible. Even though there exists no solid time when a child should learn to read, any child who can speak is good to start. Some of the phonemic skills that your kids need include;

Phonemic identity – the recognition of identical sounds in different words

Phonemic isolation – recognizing individual sounds in words

Phoneme substitution – substituting one phoneme to switch between words

Word segmenting – identifying individual sounds or a spoken word

Oral blending – joining sound segment s to make a word

Research shows that the level phonemic awareness predicts reading and spelling achievement in a direct proportionate manner. Therefore, parents should help their children develop excellent phonemic awareness.

Skills such as segmenting and orally blending improve reading written words and identifying individual sounds of unfamiliar words. The earlier your child will master phonemic awareness skills; they will discover the wonders of print and reading. The skills will enable them to enjoy reading books, discovering the world surrounding them, and making fun of print. Find more about Phonemic awareness.

Developing Phonemic Awareness and Learning Reading

Studies continue to reveal the benefits of phonic and phonemic awareness skills on overall teaching on how to read. The researchers act as eye-openers to parents who are now teaching their children to read using phonemic awareness skills. Currently, most parents are paying attention to the methods used to teach their kids reading.

The process of teaching phonemic awareness involves splitting words into individual sounds (phonemes) and joining the phonemes to sound or form the initial words. Contrary, language learning emphasizes the meaning and flow of prints rather than sounding/forming words. The useful skill is a complete configuration or the memorization of words.

However, learning English cannot be successful with memorizing and recognizing plenty of shapes and sight objects. To beat the trick, teach your children to memorize letters and the sound they represent. This way, even the youngest children will successfully learn reading and comprehend what you teach them.

There is solid evidence that phonic is the superior method of teaching kids how to read. Over 14% of USA adults are termed functionality illiterate and unable to carry out daily literacy tasks. However, this should not be alarming. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), more than a third of all children are not competent in reading when they are in grade four. The poor reading is associated with poor reading instructions they receive.

Teaching phonemic awareness skills has been proven to produce superior reading and spelling skills compared to whole language teaching methods. Several studies, backed up by the National Reading Panel, have confirmed this.

Despite many teachers claiming to use phonics, most of them have little knowledge of basic English language concepts. Therefore, they cannot address language and reading building blocks. Nevertheless, most teachers agreed phonics is a better method for initial reading instructions. It helps children decode letters and words in a better way.

It is, therefore, parents should decide what path their children should take. Help your child develop phonemic awareness through online programs: learn more.

How to Teach Phonemic Awareness While Reading Bedtime Stories

To help your child develop incredible reading and writing skills, start teaching them phonemic awareness skills at early stages. This is because phonemic awareness has been isolated as the only best predictor of reading success for young children. Indeed, it ranks far better than IQ.

Most people know about phonics. However, a few are less knowledgeable about phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is gained through constant exposure to listening, speaking, and reading. Parents can help their kids develop phonemic awareness by using various strategies like playing oral blending and word segmentation games. One of the best ways to achieve this is when reading bedtime stories before putting children to sleep.

As you repeatedly expose your child to a mix of word segmenting and oral blending, they will learn that each letter has individual sound. Simply, this is what phonemic awareness is, and they won’t even know you are really teaching them. Examples of Phonics & Phonemic Awareness Worksheets can be downloaded from this article.


Phonemic awareness has been proved to be the best and superior method of teaching kids how to learn. Take time and help your child develop phonemic awareness skills, and they will surely perfect their reading.