An assessment used to examine a student’s phonological awareness should include tasks such as “recognize and generating rhyming words, break words into syllables, blend sounds together into words, recognize and generate words that start or end with the same sound, and move sounds around to make new words” (Phonological Awareness PowerPoint). The Tests of Phonological Awareness (McKenna & Stahl, 2011, pg. 98) is one example of this type of assessment. This assessment is all oral and requires the student to listen to options within a category and select the one that fits best. For example, when assessing their concept of rhyming words, we could give the options: rat, sat, hat, and man. The student would then have to select the word that doesn’t rhyme. And then, after completing that task four or five times, the student would then have to generate their own rhyming word. One word would be provided for the student, and then they would have to think of one that rhymes with that word. Several types of tasks are given when examining their understanding of phonemes. For example, can the student say what the first sound in the word hat is? Or when given three words, can they determine the similar sound in each? We also give a list of three words, two of which have a similar phoneme, for example, hut, chip, and hang. The student must then determine which word does not share a sound with the others. Blending is also included in this assessment. This is the student’s ability to hear and/or say a words individual phonemes and then put them all together to form a word. For example, we could say just the phonemes in the word can (/c/ /a/ /n/) and ask the student to blend those pieces together to form the word can. Phoneme addition and subtraction looks at the students ability to add phonemes to a word as well as take them away. The assessor would give the student a rime and they could pick any phoneme to go in front of it to make a word. For example, we could give the student the rime an and they could add the sound /c/ to make can. Or we would give the word can and ask what we would have if we took off the /c/ sound. Phoneme substitution is also assessed, can the student take a sound out and replace it with a different one to form a new word? And also, phoneme segmentation; are they able to manipulate a word into specific clusters of sounds.

Tests of Phonological Awareness (McKenna & Stahl, 2011, pg. 98):


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