Phonological Awareness

Analytic phonics involves analysis of whole words in order to identify their component parts, then being able to break down the different parts in order to decode words. This can include using a range of strategies such as onset and rhyme, morphemes, syllable count etc. As with synthetic phonics, pupils need to be able to hear and discriminate sounds in spoken words.

Synthetic phonics involves developing phonemic awareness by learning to recognise and sound out up to 44 phonemes. Most teaching programmes do this in a systematic way using a multi-sensory approach. Pupils are then asked to blend phonemes together to sound out graphemes (blended sound) and then to read a word phonetically, in order to develop their reading and spelling skills.

Children with difficulties in this area may have:

+ Difficulty in identifying phonemes within words (initial, medial and final)
+ Difficulty with phoneme blending
+ Problems in recognising or generating rhyme
+ Problems identifying syllables in polysyllabic words
+ Poor articulation of sounds and words
+ Difficulty discriminating between similar words
+ Kinaesthetic strengths and learn better through using concrete materials, practical experiences and multi-sensory techniquest
+ Visual strengths and enjoy learning through using visual materials and presenting their work in visual formats

Activities to develop phonological awareness skills:

I Spy (initial phonemes) - Can related to classroom, environment (I went to the park and saw..) or topic areas.

Snap, Bingo - Match initial phonemes and pictures.

Line Links (CVC words) - Draw lines from initial phonemes to word endings (b....ed).

Vowel Change - Magnetic letters can be used to play this as a reading or spelling game (b_t can be bat, bet, bit, but).

Syllable Count - Say the word (such as 'yesterday') then use fingers to count syllables (yes/ter/day); this strategy can be used to support spelling across the curriculum.

Blends and Ends - a)Collect beginnings and endings of words (bl/ack, cl/ock) b) Dominoes (matching blends and ends).

Rhyming Cloze (oral) - Any rhymes, songs, jingles, poems can be used as an open-ended activity, with pupils suggesting missing rhymes.

Rhyme Snap, Families - Pictorial or words - collect rhyming pictures of words. Older pupils can investigate specific rhyme families and make up their own games.

Tongue Twisters - Compose tongue twisters, using initial sounds an consonant blends (e.g. six silly swans swam out to sea). Older pupils can investigate which sounds make the best tongue twister.

Odd Word Out (oral and written) - Identify the word that does not rhyme (ring, sing, song) or, does not begin with the same sound (black, blink, bring, block).

Sense or Nonesense - Identify the words that make sense by blending the phonemes (brick, quick, smick, stick, trick).

Syllable Sort - Collect syllables to form polysyllabic words (yes/ter/day, af/ter/noon).