Early Literacy Instruction: Research Applications in the Classroom

According to the National Institute for Literacy (2001), phonemic awareness is the ability to think about and work with individual sounds in spoken languages. Before children learn to read, they need to be aware of how sounds work. Teachers should integrate phonemic awareness instruction in the curriculum to help children learn to read and spell. The instruction can start with having children categorize the first phonemes — the smallest functional unit of speech — in words and then progress to more complicated combinations.

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