What is Phonemic Awareness?
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken words. It involves the important skills of segmenting (breaking words into sounds) and blending (blending sounds together to make words). It is purely oral and an important part of Little Learners Love Literacy®.
The puppet, Ally the alligator, can only speak in sounds so she provides a great opportunity for children to develop and practise their phonemic awareness skills. We call this 'Ally talk'; Ally asks children to /r/ /u/ /n/ (segmenting the sounds for 'run'). Children say the word and start 'running'. Ally asks them to touch something /r/ /e/ /d/. Children blend the sounds together to say 'red'. They touch something red. Children LOVE the Ally puppet and do the Ally talk themselves.
Every aspect of Little Learners Love Literacy has a phonemic component. The Milo Sound Box at the beginning of every session introduces children to segmenting initial sounds. This sound is then linked to a grapheme - speech to print.