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Difference Between Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Phonics vs Phonemic Awareness

If you want your child to become a good reader in the future, you must turn him over to a good institution of learning that offers varied instructional approaches towards familiarizing them with the English language. Two of the best approaches are through phonemic awareness and phonics.

Phonics is one of the many methods of instruction that helps the learner or student how to read the English language. It is basically matching the individual letters or letter groups of the alphabet with its appropriate sound(s) and is regarded as the building block for effective reading. A good example is associating the sound “k” with the letters “k,” “c,” and even “ck”a when the learner sees the latter on the board. In phonics, the learners are also taught to blend letter sounds to arrive to the hidden pronunciations of difficult words.

Next is phonemic awareness. But before one can understand about phonemic awareness, it is best to discuss first the concept of phonological awareness. This is actually your cognizant (conscious) sensitivity or understanding to the language’s sound structures which includes the auditory ability to perceive and discern different parts of speech like word syllables and their phonemes. This is considered as one of the most basic foundations of speech which is important in nurturing fluency and literacy of the language being used.

If you have a good background on phonological awareness, it is most likely that you have a good reading ability, not to mention academic success. And so, phonemic awareness is just a division of phonological awareness where the learners will be able to manipulate, classify, and listen to phonemes which are all necessary for them to distinguish different meanings.

In a much simpler sense, phonemic awareness is present in a child when he already knows the word’s sound even without visual or written materials like when the instructor asks him the remaining word when you remove the letter “b” from the word “bat.” Another example is when the child is already aware of how some words sound like when he’s being asked, “What is the starting sound of the word boy?”

Some of the most common activities done to enhance phonemic awareness are writing (on the board) the letter of the sound heard from the instructor, and also when the computer makes a sound then you type in the appropriate character on your keyboard.


1.Phonemic awareness means that the learner is aware or conscious that sounds can be linked together, altered, and moved.
2.Phonemic awareness is a subset or division of phonological awareness.
3.If the learner is phonemically aware, he does not need written and visual materials to understand the sound of the word(s).
4.Phonics is more of the letter-to-sound association.

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