Building Phonological Awareness Skills

Phonological awareness is the first building block in learning to read.

Children must gradually become aware of not just what words mean but of their component sounds.

Phonological awareness includes the awareness of how words can be broken down into smaller parts; into syllables and individual sounds.

The Education Department has made some helpful short videos to further define this concept if you are interested in learning more about Phonological Awareness

Why do we need to focus upon Phonological Awareness?

Well, it’s simple!

The level of a child’s phonological awareness skills in the first years of schooling is a strong predictor of later reading and spelling success.

Luckily, there is plenty we can do to build these skills in both the preschool and early school years:

  •  Expose your preschooler to songs that include lots of rhyme, alliteration and fun rhythms.  Talk about how the words sound?  Are they long words with lots of moving parts or syllables?  Do lots of words start with lip popping /p/ and /b/ sounds or do the words rhyme?
  •  Have some fun in front of the mirror exploring your ‘noise makers’ and how these move when you say different sounds together e.g. lips for p b m and w sounds, tongue tapping for t d and jumping at the back of the mouth for k and g, teeth together and lips protruding forward for sh
  •  Clap or tap out the syllables (beats) in long words; town names, vegetables, animals and the names of family and friends are great places to start.
  •  Some sounds are noisy (with our voice box turned on) like d b z v.  Have fun feeling your throat rumble with vibrations when you say these sounds
  •  Other sounds are nosy like m and n.  Feel the tickle in your nose as you say these sounds together
  • Other sounds don’t require the use of voice box at all and are quiet sounds.  We can feel air being puffed out onto our hand for the voiceless s f sh t and p sounds

Have fun ‘getting ready’ to say some words with your child.

See if you can detect the sound (not the letter) at the beginning of the word.

Focus on feeling, seeing and hearing the sound at the beginning of words.

HINT:  Starting with words that have ‘long’ sounds at the beginning will be a little easier to start with if your child is finding this concept tricky.  Try words like these:   shoe, Sam, sand, mine, zoo, four, farm, face and knee.

If your child shows an interest in learning more,

remember that our freely available Ready Readers Programme is available for you now!

This 8 week programme is full of extra fun, play-based activities to ensure that your child builds much needed phonological awareness skills for Kindergarten in readiness for early literacy development.

Enjoy nurturing an interest and early fascination in how words sound with your child and you will be setting them on the path for reading and spelling success! […]

2023-08-14T05:18:08+00:00

Speech Ready: The skills our preschoolers need to transition to school

It’s that time of year again…when our preschool aged children will soon attend Kindergarten orientation programmes and transition to school!

Is your child, a child you care for, or a child you educate ready for school?

Do you have concerns or confusion about what skills are important to nurture in order to give your child the best chance of a successful start to his or her schooling?

Look no further. When it comes to speech, language and communication skills we have you covered.

As parents and early childhood educators, we play a crucial role in preparing our children for the exciting transition to kindergarten.  Among the many essential skills required for this milestone, strong speech, language, and communication abilities are particularly vital. In this blog, we will explore eight key areas that will help children thrive as they embark on their kindergarten journey.

Here are our handpicked top Kindy Readiness Skills and ways that you can support your child, a child you care for or a child you educate develop them over the next 6 months!

Get your free School Readiness speech and language checklist here

Learn2Communicate School Ready!

Initiate and Sustain Conversations

Encouraging children to start conversations with others and to keep these going back and forth over multiple turns  fosters social interactions and builds their confidence in expressing their thoughts and ideas. Be sure to give your child many opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations with you with opportunities for active listening and turn taking.

Answer a Range of Open Ended WH – Questions

Incorporate open ended WH-Questions into your daily conversations, asking your child about their day, their favourite activities, or their interests.  Questions starting with ‘what’ ‘where’ ‘who’ ‘when’ ‘where’ ‘how ‘ and ‘why’ will help conversations to keep flowing with your child and will encourage your child’s understanding and recall to develop.

You can also develop these skills when sharing story books together.  It is important to mix these questions naturally amongst other types of language such as comments and statements so that your child doesn’t feel pressured or ‘tested’.  Keep it fun and playful.

These skills are important for children when starting school to respond to questions from their teacher and during activities such as ‘show and tell’ when other children may ask questions or seek clarification about your child’s news item.

Understand and Follow Spoken Instructions

This is a big one!  One of the most important and obvious differences between home, early childhood settings and a Kindergarten classroom is that your child will now be in a large group of children with 1 teachers.  Your child will need to far more listening than ever before. He or she will need to tune in, listen to, understand and follow many spoken instructions throughout the day.  You can help you child by providing your child will opportunities at home to follow simple instructions.  They can gradually increase in complexity as your child becomes more adept.  Break the instructions down into smaller steps to make them more manageable and use visual cues such as gestures […]

2023-07-08T04:24:02+00:00

Title

Go to Top