Phonological awareness is a critical skill for all students’ literacy development and a predictor of later reading and spelling success. Phonological awareness refers to oral language and is the understanding of the different ways that language can be broken down into smaller parts.
Phonological awareness consists of five subskills beginning with word, syllable, onset/rime awareness, moving to the more complex subskills of basic and advanced phonemic awareness.
You can watch a video which explains the definition of phonological awareness and learn about the subskills.
Supporting the development of reading skills
This series of videos explores our understanding of phonological awareness and why it is a critical skill for reading development.
Onset and rime
Phonemic awareness and decoding
Basic phonemic awareness skills and phonics
To hear more about how phonological awareness can support early reading acquisition, listen to our two-part podcast 'A speech pathologists view on oral language, phonological awareness and phonics'
These resources can be downloaded to support teaching in the classroom (staff only).
- Word awareness (PDF 70KB) (Accessible DOCX 127KB)
- Syllable awareness (PDF 129KB) (Accessible DOCX 74KB)
- Rhyming, onset and rime awareness (PDF 129KB) (Accessible DOCX 70KB)
- Basic phonemic awareness (PDF 138KB) (Accessible DOCX 84KB)
- Advanced phonemic awareness (PDF 132KB) (Accessible DOCX 84KB)
The on-demand Phonological awareness diagnostic assessment is designed to tell teachers how students are progressing in phonological awareness.
Professional learning opportunities in the practical application of evidence-based teaching of reading are available on the Literacy and numeracy professional learning webpage.