Test of Phoneme Identities 1. Say: We’ll see the moon soon. Now say /s/. Do you hear /s/ in moon or soon? 2. Say: She caught a fish by the fin. Now say /sh/. Do you hear /sh/ in fish or fin? 3. Say: That bug makes a buzz. Now say /z/. Do you hear /z/ in bug or buzz?
We define the phonemes not as sounds but as motor control structures we choose to call gestures.... The gestural strategy permits coarticulation. That is, it permits the speaker to overlap gestures that are realized by different organs of articulation. The consequence is that people can and do regularly speak at rates of 10 to 20 phonemes per second. Liberman & Liberman, 1992
Non-chance Scores on Phoneme Awareness Test Wallach & Wallach, 1979
Vowels are phonemes made by vocalizing while forming various mouth shapes, e.g., E-I-E-I-O. Short vowels are particularly opaque because they represent very subtle differences in mouth shape.
Consonants are made by tightening the vocal channel enough to get some friction. Some consonants make a plain sound, visible from the outside. They are salient (noticeable). Examples: /s/, /k/, /f/, /p/ Other consonants make less distinct sounds, hidden back in mouth. Examples: /l/, /r/, /n/, /ng/.
In kindergarten: Introduce phonemes with a variety of developmentally appropriate activities. Work with consonants. Emphasize finding phonemes in spoken words. Apply in invented spelling and in reading beginning letters to distinguish rhyming words.
By late kindergarten and with older poor readers: Review phonemes to introduce vowels and digraphs in phonics. Apply by using vowel correspondences to decode and spell written words.