As interest in phonemic awareness increases across disciplines, the speech-language pathologist is in the position of having the most knowledge about and ability to intervene in the area of phonemic awareness as it relates to reading and language arts. Although it is recognized that phonemic awareness is important to the processes of learning to read and spell, the exact nature of phonemic awareness and its origin(s) is poorly understood. This article uses a developmental model of language (Situational-Discourse-Semantic or SDS), along with a constellation or neuro-network model, to describe the developmental emergence of phonemic awareness. Ten sources of phonemic awareness are profiled along the developmental continuum, providing an integrated view of this complex development. Assessment and intervention consequently do not involve determining whether children “have” phonemic awareness, but rather where their abilities fall along the developmental continuum for each of the 10 sources of phonemic awareness.
Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Norris)
Professor and Chair, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Hoffman)