What is Phonological Processing?
“Phonological awareness is the most potent predictor of success in learning to read.”
What is Phonological Awareness?
When it comes to dyslexia and or reading I am pretty sure you have heard of phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is a meta-cognitive skill (i.e. an awareness/ability to think about one’s own thinking) for the sound structures of language.
Phonological awareness allows us to discriminate, remember, and manipulate sounds at the sentence, word, syllable, and phoneme (sound) level. Here are some basic examples for you!
Sentence level: How many words are in the sentence, “Peter picked some peppers”
Word level: Do any of these words rhyme at all?
Syllable level: What is the last syllable in the word ‘peppers’?
Phoneme level: What is the final sound in Peter?
So what do we know about phonological processing and dyslexia? If a child is showing weak phonological processing through the screening process, they are highly likely to struggle with early reading, writing, spellings and rhymes.
Inside our brains, the angular gyrus and corresponding regions in the occipital and temporal lobes are responsible for phonological processing abilities. There have been many tests on the dyslexic brains which have revealed disruption in this area. This means that phonological processing deficits are a hallmark of dyslexia and require explicit and systematic instruction including this concept of ‘overlearning’.
The good news is that screenings can be given to kids as young as 4! Yes you read that correct, at the age of 4 we can already begin the screening process. This literally means, we can see a child’s profile which will include their score rating on phonological processing.
Therefore – if you knew a child had weak phonological processing skills, it means you can begin early intervention immediately!
Hope you have found this short blog helpful!
Thanks for reading.
Paloma Forde – Founder of Screening4Dyslexia.