Phonological Awareness - Stage 7 (5 years - 7 years)
Speaking and listening - continued
Your child needs to continue developing their understanding of language, its sound structure, grammatical rules and conventions through talking and playing. They need to be able to say what they think and can often only write what they can say, so they need to be able to talk it before they can write it. We cannot expect them to write well later if they cannot talk or express their thoughts and ideas through language, whether that be spoken or signed. So, you need to continue engaging them in conversation and exposing them to new vocabulary and concepts.
Phonemic Awareness - Part 2 - Phoneme substitution and deletion
Having mastered Phonemic Awareness Part 1, the next stage in the process is learning and understanding how substituting and deleting phonemes can create new words. This is still based on what we hear, not the written word.
We usually introduce this concept to children using one syllable CVC words, a word that has a Consonant followed by a Vowel and then another Consonant, such as hat, cat and mat.
To begin with focus on helping your child to substitute the first sound in a word, for example replacing the ‘h’ sound in hat with an ‘m’ sound gives mat; or replacing with a ‘b’ sound gives bat.
Once they become comfortable with substituting the initial sound, progress to substituting the last sound in the word, for example replacing the ‘t’ sound in mat with a ‘p’ sound gives map; or replacing it with an ‘n’ sound gives man.
Then focus on the medial, or middle, sound in the word, for example substituting the ‘a’ in hat with an ‘i’ sound gives hit, or replacing it with an ‘o’ sound gives hot and with an ‘u’ sound gives hut.
As with substitution begin by focusing on helping your child to delete the first sound in a word, for example removing the ‘s’ sound in stop gives the new word top; or deleting the ‘c’ sound in cart gives the new word art.
Once they become comfortable with deleting the initial sound, progress to removing the last sound in the word, for example deleting the ‘t’ sound in cart gives the new word car; or removing the ‘k’ sound in fork gives the new word for.
However not all children will find the concept of substitution and deletion of phonemes easy and it may be beneficial to move on to the next stage and then revisit this section, as the visual aid of letters that Stage 8 provides may help support their learning.
Research suggests that, when entering school, having good phonological skills based just on speaking and being able to hear and play with the sounds of language (Stages 1-7) is often a strong predictor of a child’s reading success later.