Literacy skills emerge during the preschool years, when children become more attentive with books, help turn pages, and name pictures. Phonological awareness skills begin to develop around age 3-4, such as recognition of rhymes and generating rhyming words. By age 5, children can clap words as meaningful units, and can also clap parts of words or syllables. Phonological awareness abilities have been shown to be a strong predictor of reading, writing, and spelling skills.
By grade Primary, children learn the letters of the alphabet, and can identify beginning sounds of words eg. sun begins with "s". Awareness of the sounds that letters make progresses to segmenting all sounds within words, beginning with direct sound-letter correspondence such as "C-A-T". Students begin to recognize and write their name, and progress to using invented spellings eg. "fon" for phone based on the sounds that they hear within the words.
Children who are struggling in these areas warrant assessment and monitoring. Our Speech-Language Pathologists can assist with all areas of literacy skills development, including phonological awareness, decoding, sight word recognition (retention and recall), and improving writing and spelling skills. We use a variety of evidence-based methods, including the Lindamood-Bell LIPS approach and the Seeing Stars program by Nanci Bell.