English at home Pronunciation Reading

Phonological Awareness – What, Why And How

Are you looking for ways to make learning English fun and engaging for your little ones? 

One important aspect of language learning that you may not have heard of is something called “phonological awareness”.

Phonological awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds in words. It’s the foundation for learning how to read and spell in any language, and it’s especially important for children who are learning English as a foreign language.

Here are ten simple, fun and engaging activities for young children to raise their phonological awareness and make learning English a blast!

  1. Rhyme time: Say a word and have your child come up with words that rhyme with it. Example: “cat” – “rat”, “bat”, “mat”.
  2. Sound hunt: Take a walk around the house or neighborhood and have your child point to objects that start or end with a specific sound. Example: “Find things that start with the /b/ sound.”
  3. Word building: Give your child a few letter sounds and have them build words with them. Example: “c-a-t”
  4. Syllable clap: Clap out the syllables in words and have your child join in. Example: “cat” – clap, clap
  5. Sound swap: Take a word and change one sound to make a new word. Example: “cat” – “pat”
  6. Word detective: Have your child listen to sounds from a word and try to figure out which letters are missing. Example: “c-t” – “cat”
  7. Sound counting: Have your child listen to a word and count the number of sounds they hear. Example: “cat” – 3 sounds (c-a-t)
  8. Syllable counting: Have your child clap out the syllables in words and count how many syllables they hear. Example: “cat” – 1 syllable
  9. Sound matching: Write different letters or letter combinations on cards, and have your child match them to the sounds they hear in words. Example: “c” – “cat”
  10. Sound segmentation: Say a word slowly and have your child tap or clap each sound as you say it. Example: “cat” – tap, tap, tap

These activities are only a few of the possibilities and they’re suitable for younger children. Each one will help your child to develop their phonological awareness and improve their reading skills.

Remember that children learn best when they’re having fun, so don’t be afraid to mix and match the activities, get creative and make them interactive and playful.

Keep encouraging and praising your child for their efforts and they’ll be on their way to becoming a proficient English reader and speaker in no time.