A Fun Way to Support Phonological Awareness at Home
Research is very clear that Phonological Awareness is a foundational strategy for students to obtain the necessary literacy skills to read and spell effectively and efficiently.
However, teaching older students phonological awareness skills can be difficult because many of the resources out there are geared towards younger students and the images, worksheets, and resources can be insulting to older students.
So, as a parent, what can you do to support your dyslexic student in learning the necessary phonological awareness skills to be successful? This answer may surprise you.
Learn to speak Pig Latin with your child.
Do you remember Pig Latin? It may have been a fun past-time with friends on the playground, it may have been a tortuous language to which all of your school-aged peers seemed to understand and you never quite caught on (this was me), or this may be the first time you're hearing of it. But honestly, this can be a fun family affair you can take on with your child.
What you do need to realize before embarking on this endeavor is that it's likely to be very difficult for your child because it requires the most complex of all phonological awareness knowledge - manipulation. If you haven't checked out our blog on the hierarchy of phonological awareness - check that out here! Pig Latin requires the ability to complete many of the phonological awareness skills.
1. You must take the word you want to "translate" and isolate the onset of the word. The onset is any piece of the word that comes before the rime (yes they seriously spell it that way). The rime is the final vowel sound and anything after it. Let's use the work splat as an example. In the word splat we have two parts:
Onset = spl Rime = at
2. You must then switch the onset and the rime. In the word splat we would get at + spl.
3. You then add the long A sound to the end of the new word coming up with "atsplay"
Again, this process is going to be LONG and DIFFICULT for your child but if you commit to working on this daily with them you alone will be building a really important skill they need that may be overlooked in the classroom or intervention setting purely due to the fact that they are older and many assumptions are made that they already have this skill. Hopefully, after several months you will have a secret code with your child which should allow for bonding time and an increase in this necessary foundational skill.
Translate this one for fun!
Eway ancay eakspay igpay atinlay!
There are some fun online resources to get you going with this if you are new to the idea :) For more information on phonomeic awareness and it’s impact on older readers, click here.