Phonological awareness is a great predictor of future reading and spelling success. If a child struggles with phonological awareness, they will often go on to have difficulties reading and writing.
Phonological awareness is the knowledge of the basic sound structure of language. It involves understanding the concept of sounds and syllables making up words, and words making up sentences. It is the ability to process speech sound information so that one can: identify and generate rhyming words; identify individual sounds; break words into component sounds and syllables; blend sounds together; count syllables, words and sounds; read non-words; delete syllables and sounds; and substitute sounds.
If a child is struggling with phonological awareness, they may demonstrate difficulty with the following activities:
coming up with rhyming words (e.g. what rhymes with "hat")
identifying sounds in words (e.g. c-a-t makes cat)
clapping out syllables in words (e.g. bu-tter-fly makes butterfly)
blending sounds together to identify what word is being said or read (e.g. b-i-g makes big)