Literacy 4-6

Phonological Processing

Factor Connections

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How Phonological Processing connects to...

Phonological Processing is being able to rapidly detect and understand sounds in spoken and written words. These skills help students decode full words, a key step to developing strong spoken and written language abilities. In fact, the development of Phonological Processing and literacy skills is reciprocal: the development of one set of skills influences the development of the other.

Main Ideas

Phonological Processing involves a variety of skills:

  • Phonological Awareness: Understanding the sounds that form a language (phonemes) and the sound structure of a language. This also includes the ability to manipulate and analyze this structure (e.g., discriminating whether words rhyme, understanding how sounds can be manipulated to form new words);
  • Phonological Short-term Memory: Temporarily storing, but not manipulating, phonological information;
  • Phonological Working Memory: Temporarily storing and manipulating phonemes in Short- and Long-term Memory during tasks that require Phonological Awareness; and
  • Phonological Retrieval: The ability to recall the speech sounds that are associated with written letters of a language.

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