Phonological awareness is the
process of understanding the structure of language and the separate units of
sounds in words.  Development of
phonological awareness involves instructing the importance of phonemes,
syllable and onset-rime.  Once students
understand these abstract components, student can then learn to read words more
quickly and begin the process of thinking about the meaning of the words as
they read can develop.  Phonological
awareness can be assessed through the DIBELS, BRI, DAR and PAT.  These assessments examine a student’s
knowledge of how sounds make words. The assessment will ask a student to break
spoken words into parts, or to blend spoken parts of a word into one word.

Additionally, a student will count the number of phonemes in a word to
demonstrate understanding, or a student can delete or add a phoneme to make a
new word.  Phonological awareness can be
taught through oral interactions with families and exposure to rhyming literature.  Instruction should include work with rhyme,
alliteration, segmentation and blending. 
Phonological awareness is best developed through word play, songs and
stories with focus pursued by the teacher.