Phonological Awareness and Speech

  • This is underpinned by good attention and listening skills.
  • Children need to hear and discriminate between sounds before they can produce sounds themselves.

This process seems to be easier for some sounds than for others and generally the order of difficulty, beginning with the earliest sounds can be seen in Speech Sound Development table

You can check on the speech pattern of an individual child by using the speech sound development record and interactive picture gallery.

Development of Phonological Awareness

Developing phonological awareness is a complex process which involves a range of skills. The steps in phonological awareness training, and the ages at which most children achieve these are:

  • Awareness of rhyme (age 2-3)
  • Syllable segmentation (age 3-4)
  • Identification and use of onset and rime in words (age 4-5) c-at, d-og
  • Phoneme segmentation and deletion (age 5-7) c - a - t, d -o-g

When working with older pupils (KS2/3/4) experiencing literacy difficulties it is important to remember that this may be due to difficulties with phonological awareness. Structured and targeted activities may need to be put in place, taking account of this developmental progression.

There are a number of reasons why a child might be having difficulty with phonological awareness and speech:


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Last updated: 17 December 2015

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