Phonologic awareness relates to the ability to recognize specific sound units in language apart from meaning. It is an auditory task essential for the development of receptive oral language and correlates strongly with the development of fluent reading skills. Phonemic awareness goes beyond auditory discrimination by developing an understanding of why sounds, syllables, or words are different. This expanded knowledge supports recognition and classification of sounds. In contrast to auditory discrimination tasks, phonemic awareness requires expanded use of memory and attention. Listening to large/obvious differences, such as the number of words in a sentence, prepares the brain to listen for fine/small differences such as the specific sounds in a word. It is important to use test instruments such as the Phonological Assessment Test (PAT-2) to assess the ability to distinguish auditorilly from gross to fine distinction. This helps with developing skill appropriate goals and determining where to begin instruction.
As helpful as cochlear implants are, they do not provide good frequency resolution making it very difficult for children with cochlear implants to recognize the internal phonemic structure of words. This results in challenges acquiring phonemic sensitivity, such as the ability to accurately identify final consonant sounds. Whether hearing aids or CIs are used, the brain needs to be trained and retrained to access and use this new information. Even when children with cochlear implants have clearly articulated speech and language levels close to age norms they still may have significant issues with phonemic awareness, which necessitates assessment of this area. Recent research (Susan Nittrouer) found that the average phonological skills of children using hearing aids in grade 2 were -1SD and those using cochlear implants had a -1.75SD delay. Clearly we need to assess early developing phonological skills and strengthen them if our students with hearing loss are to keep pace with the early reading skills of age peers. The PAT-2 should be a part of the assessment package for every child grades K-4 who is functionally hard of hearing. Karen Anderson, Director
The Phonological Awareness Test 2
Ages 5-9 years; Grades K-4
This test assesses all the pre-reading skills that are early indicators of reading success. Use it to identify children who lack explicit phonological knowledge and have difficulty acquiring sound/symbol correspondences in words. View Sample Pages. View Table Of Contents. See Demo.
The Phonological Awareness Test 2 is a standardized assessment of children’s phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondences, and phonetic decoding skills that was normed on almost 1600 children. Test results help educators focus on those aspects of a child’s oral language that may not be systematically targeted in classroom reading instruction.
This test assesses a student’s awareness of the oral language segments that comprise words (i.e., syllables and phonemes). The test is comprehensive and includes a wide variety of tasks; performance on each of these tasks has been correlated with success in early reading and spelling. The straightforward, developmental format lets you easily tease out specific skills and plan effective interventions.
- Rhyming: Discrimination and Production—identify rhyming pairs and provide a rhyming word
- Segmentation: Sentences, Syllables, and Phonemes—dividing by words, syllables and phonemes
- Isolation: Initial, Final, Medial—identify sound position in words
- Deletion: Compound Words, Syllables, and Phonemes—manipulate root words, syllables, and phonemes in words
- Substitution With Manipulatives—isolate a phoneme in a word, then change it to another phoneme to form a new word
- Blending: Syllables and Phonemes—blend units of sound together to form words
- Graphemes—assess knowledge of sound/symbol correspondence for consonants, vowels, consonant blends, consonant digraphs, r-controlled vowels, vowel digraphs, and diphthongs
- Decoding—assess general knowledge of sound/symbol correspondence to blend sounds into nonsense words
- Invented Spelling (optional)—write words to dictation to show encoding ability