Phonemic awareness is the ability to establish sequence of speech sounds that form a part of any spoken word or syllable. Any word is made of phenome, which is the smallest mental unit of sound that any alphabet or its group carries. Phonemic awareness allows the learners to have the ability to distinguish these phenomes and eventually learn pronunciation and spelling of the words.
This awareness is conspicuously weak in the children having condition of dyslexia. Due to this condition, the children are not able to associate sound of the letter with its physical form, making it difficult for them to read and write.
Thus, phonemic awareness building is an important teaching activity designed for building word building intelligence in dyslexic children.
Importance of phonemic awareness in early learners
Phonemic awareness is useful for building word skills like reading, speaking (pronunciation) and writing in early learners. Some of the ways it helps the beginners at word building are:
- It acts as a primer for building reading skills as children easily differentiate between the sounds of alphabetical sequence and read the words correctly
- It is also important for building spelling skills
- It helps understand the alphabetic principle that outlines how the letters are represented by sequence of sounds
- Phonemic awareness is pure auditory and is related to building the capacity of recognizing words by the sequence of sounds and vice versa, means it helps the students to break the words or syllables into underlying sounds or phenomes.
Role of apps in improving their phonemic awareness
Apps offer a playful way of inculcating speaking and reading skills in a child in the early learning stage. They offer an interesting way of developing pre-reading skills which comprise largely matching of word or syllables with the sound. The apps may comprise of teaching guides and tips, or these can be in games form that help steer away the fear of reading from the child’s mind. With the help of apps, the children can not only learn but also internalize the alphabetical principles by the way of activities, practice sets and gamification.
So, listed below are the 10 best apps for phonemic awareness building that are available at Google Play Store and Apple Apps store; and they are absolutely free!
1. Sounds Beginnings
This app features 12 learning games that provide practice of reading and phonics. It is providing good help for learning the beginning, middle and end sound of the word. There are matching sets provided in the game. Whenever child touches any letter, its corresponding sound comes out aloud and the picture of an object that starts with that letter is presented too. Simple UI, quick to understand, easy to use, this app teaches words sounds through gamification.
App Link : Appstore
2. Phonemic Chart
It is a free android app that helps you hear and discern the sounds of vowels and consonants and the words on the whole. The user needs to click on the IPA symbol provided in the chart that appears in the interface of this app. The app is divided into three sections – vowels, diphthongs and consonants. Very intelligently designed app, it features the words written in black or red to enable easy reading. Diphthongs are also arranged according to their second sound, while pure vowels are arranged according to mouth shape. It offers quite a practical way of enhancing phonemic awareness.
3. What’s changed
What’s Changed is a word speaking and reading abilities builder app. With an aim to enhance phonemic awareness among children, the app helps build the ability to discern sound of the word and the sequence of the sounds appearing in a word. The app uses segmentation and blending techniques to teach the child about different sounds that emerge due to replacing of letters in the word. It offers a promising way of improving the reading abilities in the child. The app also offers the facility to assess the progress of the child through a scoring system.
App Link : Appstore
4. Phonemes – IPA Chart, transcription and pronunciation
This app is useful in converting text to phonetic presentations. It is very nicely-built, elaborate app that offers a look at the mouth movements too while uttering any sound through a comprehensive visual. It provides look up chart for vowels, non-pulmonic and pulmonic consonants. The app is also useful for transcription purposes as one can learn about accents, too, with its help. It is a features-enriched app that serves as starting guide for the phonemic awareness building.
With the help of charts, visual support and word-phenome sound match tool, this app covers all aspects of phonemic learning, and thus, is of great help for the kids.
App Link : Playstore
5. Phoneme Farm: Phonemic Awareness App for Kids
Phoneme farm is an app that helps build phonemic awareness in early learners using an engaging farm background. This app makes use of songs, games and characters to make the phonemic learning or word skills learning super fun for kids. There are about 49 hand-on lessons provided and kids are encouraged time to time for their efforts. Dashboard adds to the usability factor as it allows parents to adjust it according to their child’s needs. Parents can do an activity together with their kids to help them use this app. The kids can use this app on their own too.
6. Jolly Phonics Lessons
Jolly Phonics is an awesome teaching support that comes with lots of resources and features to help teachers create phonemic awareness in young children. The app is using synthetic phonics approach to equip children with five basic skills they need to have for reading and writing. Main features of this app are:
- Jolly songs for each letter sound
- Animated letter formation
- Action image and related instructions
- Letter sounds audio for all types of sounds to develop phonemic awareness through auditory means
- Rich repertoire of word and flash cards
This phonemic awareness app is very simple in design and thus, quick to understand.
7. Phonogram Sounds
It is an app from the All About Reading program, an initiative designed to offer mastery in developing phonemic awareness in children. It helps develop essential pre-reading skills in children which they can use further for learning all five components of reading.
The way of teaching child the word’s sound is very easy. The child just taps the letter and its corresponding sound emanates from the interface. The user can also swipe to see different views. This mastery-based phonemic awareness building app offers ease of learning spelling rules. The app contains all 72 basic phonograms useful for building spelling and pronunciation skills.
8. Phonemic Awareness Bubbles
This app helps prepare child to develop phonemic awareness which can further be used to strengthen and enhance reading skills. Children can learn primary sounds of the letters. They internalize alphabetic principles and develop spelling skills. The ability to break the words into phonemes or phonemic awareness becomes easy to develop with this app. Apart from the sounds, it is useful for teaching the functions of the letters too. The beginning sound of the letter becomes easier to discern for the children by using this app on a regular basis.
App Link : Appstore
9. Basic phonics 1 Lite
It is a feature-rich app useful for teaching the beginners of reading. Reading sounds like s (/s/), a /æ/, t (/t/) and p (/p/) become easier with the guidance provided with this app. The app utilizes mnemonic technique to teach reading and writing of letters Aa to Zz. Visual tools enable easier picture word association by building memory bridge helpful for child in retaining spelling and sound of letter principles in mind. Apart from building phonemic awareness, this app also offers support for blending, segmenting, and letter-sound associations.
App Link : Playstore
This app uses International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) system to help turn the alphabets into their respective phonetic transcriptions. It can help learning British and American ways of sounding out the letters. The app is offering reading support by providing text comprising of sentences whose structure is preserved to match the phonetic transcription for easier word-transcript match. The app includes valued added features like name of countries, popular names, capitals, US states, UK countries and so on.
So, install these apps to get a rich teaching support for homeschooling dyslexic kids or to make reading hour more engaging for the kids at school by building their pre-reading skills.
Share the word
If you find this post helpful, then please help us spread the word. Share the post with your friends, family and colleagues. Do not forget to subscribe to our updates. Any suggestions and recommendations are highly appreciated. You can reach us through the contact form and we will get back at you shortly.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,