Students with phonological awareness understand that by listening they can take sentences apart word by word or words apart sound by sound. Often in schools educators help children to explore phonological awareness by tapping, clapping or other movements along to the words of a sentence or the separate sound of a particular word. When breaking down words, children are able to separate parts of the words into syllables. After this, syllables can be broken down even further into phonemes. 

An example of this would be a child who comments that "I like this book". 

book - b-oo-k

We can ask questions to stimulate and encourage phonological awareness:

"What is the initial sound?" - b

"What is the end sound you hear?" - k

Educators can model dragging out or emphasizing the first and end sounds to help children break up the word.


"What is the middle sound you hear?" - oo

(The middle sound is also known as the medial sound).

Phonological awareness is an essential skill and is an auditory skill. It is integral to preparing children in becoming good readers.