Phonological awareness is the general ability to attend to the sounds of language. This includes the initial awareness of speech sounds and rhythms, rhyme awareness, recognition of sound similarities and phonemic awareness. To develop this area teachers engage in focused activities during all phases of the day. These activities include games in which children hear phoneme isolation and language play in which phonemes are manipulated e.g. rhyming, silly sentences.
This is the process of understanding what is being learned by linking it to what is already known. Teachers promote comprehension by enhancing oral language and vocabulary through social interaction and children's active engagement with the environment. The day is organised so children are constantly using vocabulary to plan, predict, organise, sequence, question, report, recall, imagine, tell stories, persuade and reason.
Concepts of Print
Concepts about print relate to how print is organised and used in reading and writing tasks. Awareness of this begins with oral language development; children learn that language carries messages and words can represent ideas. Print is valuable in all forms and our children are presented with stories, non-fiction books, poems, notes, lists, letters and labels. Whilst reading, teachers systematically point to printed words. They use shared writing, in which children dictate messages and observe as the teacher writes them down.
Alphabet knowledge is understanding that there is a systematic relationship between letters and sounds. In our program children have ongoing access to the alphabet as they use books, magazines, catalogs, mail, games and menus as well as alphabet books, puzzles, three-dimensional letters, letter stamps and ink pads, letter blocks, tiles and computers. Over time children are exposed to all the alphabet letters and have multiple opportunities to recognise and write them, whilst beginning to distinguish and match upper and lowercase letters.