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Phonemic Awareness vs. Phonological Awareness: What’s the Difference?

Uncategorized Jun 04, 2021

Wondering what the difference is between “phonemic awareness” and “phonological awareness?” Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably - but they’re not the same!

Phonological awareness is the awareness of the sounds that make up spoken language. It doesn’t involve any written letters - just sounds. Phonological awareness involves skills like: rhyming, counting the number of words in a sentence spoken aloud, identifying the first sound in a word, and segmenting a word into its sounds.

Phonemic awareness is part of phonological awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual phonemes. Phonemes are speech sounds (for example, the /m/ sound in the word “mat” or the /k/ sound in “bike”).  

Here’s a simple analogy to help:

Phonological awareness = bread

Phonemic awareness = rye bread

Phonemic awareness is made up of a set of skills, and those skills are part of overall...

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