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The purpose of my study was to determine if small reading group instruction increases student understanding of blending and segmenting words.

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Phonological Awareness VS. Phonemic Awareness

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the understanding or awareness that oral language, such as sentences, words, and syllables, are made up of individual sounds from letters that can be divided further into smaller parts (Runge & Watkins, 2006).  Within phonological awareness, sentences, words within sentences, syllables within words, and sounds within words are sought to be understood. “Phonological awareness encompasses large parts of speech, such as sentences and words, and can be targeted through activities such as rhyming, segmenting multisyllabic words, and segmenting words into sentences” (Loeb et al., 2009, p. 377).

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is an aspect of phonological awareness that is more specific to the individual sounds. In order to be successful in comprehending phonological awareness skills, one must have a solid understanding of letters and their sounds. Adequately understanding phonemic awareness leads to success in spelling and reading. Phonemic awareness is being able to understand each individual sound that makes up a spoken word (Allor et al., 2006). Each individual sound is known as a phoneme. Having a sufficient understanding of phonemic awareness skills leads to success as a beginner reader because it is creating the groundwork for how printed letters and words connect to spoken sounds and words.

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