Phonemic Awareness In Oral Language

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3.1. Strategy 1: Phonemic awareness
Phonemic awareness: the term is defined by David. A Sousa as, the breaking of words into sounds. He further explains that adults need to be taught the 44 basic sounds (phonemes) in the English language and can manipulate these sounds successfully. This is one strategy of developing sensitivity into oral language, considering individual sounds and single words. Phonemic awareness is in a nutshell, the ability to notice, think about and work with individual sounds in a spoken word. (Fitzsimmons, 1998)

Phonemic awareness is a process of assisting a learner to develop reading skills, being able to note words in a sentence. This strategy to learning develops over time and can be taught in different ways. This
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Exploring Sounds
To translate letters on to sounds, a beginning reader should “enter school” with a conscious awareness of the sound structure of words and the ability to manipulate sounds in words. (Smith, Simmons & Kame’enui, 1995, p.2)
As a teacher, I need to firstly know what my learners already know, Alphabets, and the sounds they individually make. I need to know whether or not my students are able to recognize rhyme/rhythmic words. An example would be, the learners given a word “hair” and seeing their ability to come up with words that rhyme with hair, such as; fair, char, air, where, scare, share, care, etc. This will also require me to ensure their knowledge of phoneme and their ability to combine them (i.e. sh+ o+e) to form a word shoe.
Exploration of sound could also be used in reading classes where, I, the teacher read-aloud books and poems with emphasis on rhymes, and many other sound features of reading. I could also assist them by asking them to listen to a word, then break it out into letters to see whether the sounds they make, do make up the word. For an example ‘dog’ can be broken down into d/o/g. This will help them with their word spelling.

3.3. Discovering spelling
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For one to be able to get to a stage where they can think of how a word looks like, few activities need to be encouraged. In this regard, specific attention should be given to specific letter-sound pattern (Parseley,2006) with an emphasis that all learners are to acquire phonemic awareness.
A phonemically aware learner knows that the word “feet” has three different sounds, the word “eat” remains after removing the letter sound “f” of “feet” and also knows that “fee” is what remains when the last sound-letter is removed. Learners need to be taught how to break spoken words into subcomponents, in order for them to be able to discover mappings between spelling patterns and sound patterns. (Snowball & Bolton, 1991, P.47-60)
As a teacher, I also need to give emphasis on words pronunciation, so as to avoid the learners using correct letters in words in an incorrect sequence, for an example having them written ‘fownd’ instead of found. WI ought to make emphasis on both, letter-sound and word-sound for better pronunciation and to help them spell
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