Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

November 10, 2015

Speech therapist, Kristin Lyman, examines phonological awareness

Posted by: childandfamily

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Kristin Lyman MA CCC-SLP is a speech therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development. Recently, she reviewed an article from National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Beyond The Journal about phonological awareness. 

The article by Hallie Kay Yopp and Ruth Helen Yopp defines phonological awareness as sensitivity to the sound structure of language and it demands the ability to turn one‚Äôs attention to sounds in spoken language while temporarily shifting away from its meaning. Their example is “…when asked if the word caterpillar is longer than the word train, a child who answers that the word caterpillar is longer is demonstrating the ability to separate words from their meanings. A child who says the word train is longer has not separated the two; a train is obviously much longer than a caterpillar! Children who can detect and manipulate sounds in speech are phonologically aware.” 

Kristin thinks this summary provides great insight about the importance of phonological awareness for  reading development.  Phonological awareness involves identifying and manipulating units of language, such as words, syllables, and sounds.   It differs from phonics because it focuses on the  parts of language that are heard (sounds) rather than the letters themselves.  Keep in mind that although there are 26 letters in the alphabet, the English language has 44 different sounds, so focusing on just letter identification does not cover all of them.  She really likes the idea of using chips or blocks as representations of sound units to assist with sound manipulation in phonological awareness activities. 

Read this full article here. Check out the list of books, games and songs that play with sounds to use at home or in the classroom.  This type of literature is helpful for increasing attention for sounds in words, learning rhyming and practicing initial sound and final sound manipulation.   The Yopps have authored several helpful articles about speech and language development. 

Our team of 9 speech therapists can help kids with articulation, phonology and other areas of speech and language development.  We are in-network with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC, Cigna, Medcost, North Carolina Medicaid, Primary Physician Care and United Health Care. Clients also may pay privately and access out-of-network benefits.

Learn more about speech therapy services here