Phonological Awareness and Treatment Outcomes Phonological awareness refers to the ability to attend to sound units of the language to the exclusion of meaning. Phonological awareness includes awareness of words, syllables, intrasyllabic units (i.e., onsets and rimes), and individual sounds in syllables and words. This final level of awareness, termed phonemic awareness, is the most ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2003
Phonological Awareness and Treatment Outcomes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Heidi M. Harbers
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Treatment Outcomes
Article   |   April 01, 2003
Phonological Awareness and Treatment Outcomes
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, April 2003, Vol. 10, 21-26. doi:10.1044/lle10.1.21
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, April 2003, Vol. 10, 21-26. doi:10.1044/lle10.1.21
Phonological awareness refers to the ability to attend to sound units of the language to the exclusion of meaning. Phonological awareness includes awareness of words, syllables, intrasyllabic units (i.e., onsets and rimes), and individual sounds in syllables and words. This final level of awareness, termed phonemic awareness, is the most complex and important to attain in order to learn to read and spell. Because of the hierarchical nature of phonological awareness, children come to phonemic awareness after they attend to larger units of sound (e.g., syllables, rimes).
There are strong indicators suggesting that the period between ages 2 and 4 years is a very active time in the development of phonological awareness (Chaney, 1992). Although emerging early, these skills develop gradually over time (Chaney, 1992; Smith & Tager-Flusberg, 1982) in conjunction with the development of spoken language skills. Phonological awareness skills develop from implicit understanding to a more explicit level (Ball, 1993; Stackhouse, 1997). For children to understand the alphabetic principle in reading instruction, an explicit understanding of phonemes is needed in order for them to link speech to print.
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