Phonological Awareness Skill Mastery

Enrichment Therapies

April 26, 2021

Teacher working with student on phonological awareness

By: Haley Hall, Learning Specialist

Phonological Awareness skills are important for children to develop as they become readers as they are the foundation of being able to decode words and read fluently. Our SLP Kelsey Coaldrake wrote this blog post ( all about phonological awareness skills and the hierarchy of tasks involved in developing them. We know children develop all skills at different rates, but it is helpful to be aware of when these skills are typically mastered. Check out the chart below identifying the grade level when each phonological awareness task should be mastered. In this chart, the tasks are listed from most challenging to least challenging. If you have concerns about whether or not your child is following this suggested timeline, give us a call.

Phonological Awareness Task Explanation Example Grade Level Skill is Typically Mastered
Manipulation of Phonemes Changing or moving around the sounds in words to create a new word “Replace the /t/ sound in tuck with the /d/ sound.”
Second Grade
Addition of Phonemes Adding a sound to create a new word “Say nail with the /s/ sound at the beginning.”
First Grade/Second Grade
Deletion of Phonemes Removing a sound from a word to create a new word “Say slip without the /l/ sound.”
First Grade/Second Grade
Segmentation of Phonemes Breaking apart a word into individual sounds “What sounds make up the following word: fish?”
/f/ /i/ /sh/”
First Grade
Blending of Phonemes Putting sounds together to generate a word “What word do these sounds make: /p/ /i/ /g/?”
First Grade
Identification of Phonemes Identifying the beginning, middle or ending sound in a word “What sound is at the beginning of the word soup?”
Kindergarten/First Grade
Deletion of Syllables Removing a syllable from a word to create a new word “Say doghouse without dog.” “house Kindergarten
Segmentation of Syllables Breaking a word apart into syllables “How many syllables are in the word potato?”
3 – po | ta | to
Blending of Syllables Combining single syllables to generate a word “What word do these sounds make cow boy?”
Segmentation of Words in Sentences Breaking apart a sentence into words “How many words are in the following sentence: I like to eat spaghetti?”
Production of Rhyming Words Generating a rhyming word when provided a word “What rhymes with cat?”
Discrimination of Rhyming Words Determining which words rhyme with each other “Does cat rhyme with hat or dog?”

To help improve your child’s phonological awareness skills, check out these great ideas!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131



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