Preschool is a critical period for children, setting the stage and preparing them for kindergarten. Building children's phonemic awareness—the ability to understand and distinguish different sounds in words—is an area in which early childhood educators should focus on. Helping children build their phonemic awareness is crucial to their ability to develop literacy skills.
Even before developing phonemic awareness, children should have practice listening along to develop word awareness. Reading aloud, as we've discussed before, offers a great way for teachers to build these skills, while also increasing children's vocabulary and ability to express themselves.
One way you can help children develop phonemic awareness skills is through practicing and recognizing instances of rhyming and alliteration. Through these exercises, children gain familiarity with different sounds and are able to recognize when words and sounds are similar. Story books and nursery rhymes offer easy ways to incorporate these lessons.
Often, young children have problems learning how to read. Some of those challenges stem from inadequate phonemic awareness. Through focusing on developing phonemic awareness in preschoolers, teachers help set up children for success as they progress in school.
ProSolutions Training offers the course, "Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: The Gateway to Reading Success." Through this course, you'll be able to define the gateway skill known as phonemic awareness, list the sequence of phonemic awareness development in a young child by age level and identify reasons children may have problems developing phonemic awareness skills. In addition, you will be able to describe typical activities that a preschool teacher should use to help young children acquire phonemic awareness. We also offer courses on brain development in children so you can improve your understanding of preschoolers' progress in your classroom.