The University of Iowa

Phonological Awareness

Definition of Component1

  • Students can distinguish and manipulate sounds in spoken words
  • Students can count, segment, and manipulate sounds in spoken words

Overview of Skills

  • Count sound units: words, syllables, phonemes
  • Identify and isolate sounds in words: syllables, phonemes
  • Blend sounds in words: syllables, onset-rime, phonemes
  • Segment sounds in words: syllables, onset-rime, phonemes
  • Add and substitute sounds in words, syllables, onset-rimes, and phonemes.

English Learner and Bilingual Footnotes

1 Having phonological awareness skills in a native language can support the development of phonological awareness in English, a critical skill for all ELs.

Grade 1 Students

Blend, segment, and count sounds in words (RF.1.2)

  • Blend and segment words of up to 5 phonemes that include consonant clusters

Identify and manipulate sounds and syllables in spoken words (RF.1.2)

  • Recognize and produce alliterations
  • Distinguish between long and short vowel sounds in one-syllable words
  • Add, change, or remove individual phonemes in words, regardless of position (initial, medial, final)

Distinguish words in sentences (RF.K.1)

  • Identify individual words in a spoken or written sentence

Blend, segment, and count syllables in words (RF.K.2)

  • Identify syllables in words
  • Blend and segment syllables in words

Recognize when a spoken word has been changed  (RF.K.2)

  • Tell whether words and sounds are the same or different
  • Identify which sound is different in two words being compared

Blend, segment, count, and rhyme sounds in words (RF.K.2)

  • Blend and segment onsets and rimes in one-syllable words
  • Identify and produce rhyming words1
  • Blend and segment individual sounds in one-syllable words of up to 3 phonemes

English learner and bilingual footnotes

The ability to rhyme in Spanish transfers to and supports the development of reading in English.