Phonological Awareness, Syllables


Over the last few sessions we have discussed the importance of attention when teaching or talking to children. Today, we are going to look at syllables. Syllables are one component of Phonological Awareness which is the greatest predictor of reading success.

Syllables, to me, are the most fascinating part of Phonological Awareness because the more we study or know about syllables, the more we see their importance to reading and spelling success

 In the early stages of reading, I refer to syllables as beats. When children get used to the concept, I use both beat and syllable until the children consolidate the formal word, syllable. In order to emphasize the beat in a word the children either clap or stamp the beat. I call words that have one beat, short words and two beats or more, long words


The next step is what activities can we do to stimulate children to identify syllables? Begin with activities that help the children feel the beats in words. Show the children what you want done, then stamp the beats in words together so that the children can FEEL the beats in the words. Then allow them to stamp the beats alone.

Secondly, the children can jump the beats but go through the process above, show the children what you want done, work together and then have the children complete the activity alone.

Skipping, clapping, tapping are all great ways to Feel the beats in words. Remember, at this stage there is no reference to letters.

The next blogg will concentrate on rhyme, another area of Phonological Awareness, the greatest predictor of reading success.




Ann Foster

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