Based on research by Paulson, Lucy Hart (2004) the development of phonological awareness skills in preschool children: From syllables to phonemes. Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, University of Montana, United States, Used with permission.
Predict Reading Success and At-risk Students
Phonological skills predict reading success and at-risk students. We can even distinguish a good and a poor reader through their skills in phonology and the answer is as simple as A, B, C, and 1, 2, 3!
Phonological skills not only predict reading success but also the most effective, easiest, fastest, and cheapest method to identify at-risk students.
Phonological skills refer to the ability to identify, manipulate and remember the sounds – connect, remove, add, and separate the sounds such as connecting the sounds of /s/, /m/, /a/, /sh/ = smash; removing the sound /n/ from the word jungle= juggle; adding the sound /s/ at the beginning of the word witch = switch; separating the sounds shower = /sh/, /ow/, /er/
Phonological skills also include the awareness of the sounds, the syllables types, and spelling patterns that make up words. Fluency is also a part of phonological skills that help to distinguish between a good and a poor reader.
If the student can manipulate the sounds, you can predict his reading success but if he has trouble manipulating the sounds it identifies that he would have trouble learning to read. This theory applies to any language with an alphabetic writing system that represents language at the sound level such as English and French.
Why is that so?
When we learn how to read English words, we need to learn the phonemes, the sounds, and not the letters of the alphabet because the sounds are the basic building blocks of words. The letters of the alphabet are only useful in the advanced concept of learning to read such as learning the vowel-consonant e syllable or the silent e for cake, zone, ride, cume, etc.
We connect the sounds or another term blend the sounds so that the student can learn to read and even spell words he has not seen, for example, we connect the sounds /m/ /a/ /n/ = man to be able to read and spell the word man correctly but how can you read and spell the word ‘ man’ if you connect the letters m a n – get it? Teaching children how to read and spell well is as simple as that!
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