Culture & Language

Planned Language Approach: Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness focuses on the sounds of the words that children hear, versus the written symbols they see. Two other Big 5 skills, Alphabet Knowledge and Early Writing and Book Knowledge and Print Concepts, focus on written symbols—letters and words. Phonological awareness skills include the ability to hear, identify, make, and work with the sounds and sound patterns of spoken language. By playing with words and sounds in different ways, caregivers and teachers can support children’s phonological awareness, which will one day help them read.

Phonological Awareness

Explore this introduction to phonological awareness to learn about a key element of early language and literacy development. Discover the important role of language and how playing with language can be both meaningful and fun. Learn how children develop phonological awareness in English as they learn to recognize that language can be broken into words, syllables, and smaller sounds. Take a look at examples of effective practices at different stages of children’s development in various early learning settings.

How Parents and Families Support Phonological Awareness

Discover specific research-based strategies to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop the key skills they will need for their later reading success. Explore examples of how the strategies are used in daily life.

Joan Talks About the Big 5: Phonological Awareness

Joan, a kindergartner, tells us about the language and literacy skills she has learned since birth. Her stories outline how knowledgeable adults provided quality environments, resources, and intentional and planned instruction that supported her language and literacy learning. Read Joan's stories for a fun and interesting way to learn about the Big 5.

Additional Resources

Review Exploring Joan Talks: A Resource Guide for Training and Technical Assistance Providers when using Joan Talks About the Big 5 to help Head Start and child care programs implement a Planned Language Approach.

Last Updated: May 14, 2019