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Phonological awareness is the awareness of the sound structures in the English Language. It is inclusive of but not limited to alliteration, phonemic awareness, onset-rime, rhyme, syllabification and morphology awareness. 

It is important to note that phonological and phonemic awareness enhancement activities are about oral sounds  and listening. Auditory activities that enhance these abilities are initially completed without letter representations until it becomes appropriate to introduce letter representations.


IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUAL SOUNDS in one-syllable words: (See 'phonemic awareness'.)

CVC words:

Examples: sat

                     s  -  a  -  t


                     p  -  i  -  n


Example: CVVCC: toast

                   t  -  oa  -  s  -  t


The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.

Example:- She sold simple but strong singlets.


Examples: st-op, sh-ell, dr-ink, fr-og.


Different onsets – one rime:

Onset                                     Rime


h                                              and



Make: sand, hand, stand, land.


Same onset – different rime:

Onset                                     Rime



dr                                            ink



Make: drip, drop, drink, drank, drill.


A few of the RIMES that make up Lower Primary words:


ack        ad          ag          ail          ain         ake           

am         ame       an          ank        ap          ash            


lean                     keen       – These two words rhyme; their rimes sound the same.


Rhyme is different from RIME FAMILIES:


keen, seen and been rhyme.

They are from the           – een rime family


lean, Dean, bean              – ean rime family

main, pain, train, chain – ain rime family

play, stay, May, today     – ay rime family


Dividing words into syllables, either in speech or writing. It is important to remember that each syllable contains a vowel sound. There are 6 rules for syllabification.


The study of how words are structured.


Meaningful morphological units of  a language that cannot be divided any further: prefixes / bases or roots / suffixes.

Base words (latin roots) will form new words when suffixes are added to the end.

Examples: port + able = portable


Spelling rules apply when adding suffixes.

When prefixes are added to the beginning of base words (latin roots) new words are created.

Examples: sub+division=subdivision



Phonemic Awareness is having the capacity to identify and manipulate the individual sounds in words. It is a strong predictor for reading success.


Phoneme Identification is sounding out the individual sounds of words:


The following consonant digraphs  and trigraph 'tch' make 1 sound:


          ch – as in chimp,        eg      ch-i-m-p 

          tch – as in watch,       eg      w-a-tch

          sh – as in shop,           eg      sh-o-p

          wh – as in when,        eg      wh-e-n

          th – as in think,          eg      th-i-n-k

          ck – as in rock,           eg      r-o-ck


The following vowel digraphs make 1 sound, only:

(Note, this is not meant to be a comprehensive list.)


          ee – as in sheep,         eg      sh-ee-p 

          ea – as in team,           eg      t-ea-m 

          ey – as in key,               eg      k-ey


          ai - as in pain,              eg      p-ai-n

          ay – as in play,            eg      p-l-ay

The Silent E:

The ‘final silent e’ is also sometimes referred to as ‘bossy or magic e’. It changes the short vowel sounds in words to long vowel sounds, making the vowel say its name, when it is added on the end of words. It is also referred to as a split vowel.


Examples: hat - hate

                     rid - ride

                    not - note

The ‘e’ at the end of words is silent, i.e. it can’t be heard when saying or reading a word that contains it. When sounding out the individual sounds of words containing the ‘silent e’, it will not be heard.

Example: cave sounded out = c-a-ve (The ‘e’ can’t be heard.)


Phonics is letter-sound knowledge, i.e. knowledge of the letter representations of the 44 sounds in the English Language. It also includes spelling rules.

Letter representations for a few of the long vowel sounds in the English Language:

(Note, this is not a comprehensive list. Phonic progression charts include all 44 sounds in English as a spoken language; both consonant and vowel sounds (short and long vowels).)


       Long a :       a ; ai ; ay ; ey ; ea ; eigh ; ei ; a_e

       Long e :       e ; ea ; ee ; -ey ; -y ; ie ; ei after c 

       Long i :         i; igh ; -y ; ie ; ei ; i_e

       Long o :        o ; oa ; oe ; ow ; ough ; o_e


       Long u:         u ; ew ; ue ; u_e; ou, ough



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