Phonological Awareness vs. Phonemic Awareness

When I began my M.A./credential program I had trouble distinguishing between phonological awareness & phonemic awareness. I thought the two were interchangeable. This is not the case. Although they are related, they are not the same. Basically phonemic awareness is an understanding of how sounds function in words. It’s the ability to manipulate sounds by adding and deleting letters while phonological awareness is the ability to recognize that words are made up of a variety of sound units- the basis of phonics.

Here’s an article explaining the difference:


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