Developing Language Students’ Phonological Awareness Through Poetry

Eglė Selevičienė


Phonological awareness may be defined as an individual’s awareness of the phonological or sound structure of spoken words. Usually the term is related to the sphere of preschool and elementary classroom training, as it is one of the most important predictors of reading in normally developing children. However, when it comes to adult teaching, for example non-native English philology students, an in-depth study of phonetics is a necessity. The nature of the subject requires building cumulative knowledge, ear-training and taking a good grasp in phonology of both native and target languages, i.e. developing their phonological awareness. When combined with poetry of the studied language, it may become an interesting and motivating activity, leading to a better understanding of the language, phonetic proficiency as well as expansion of the general knowledge of English literature. The main objectives of this article are 1) to discuss the general terminology and content of phonological awareness 2) to share experience on how poetry may be applied as a successful teaching tool for developing students’ phonological awareness. Therefore, the concepts of rhyme, rhythm, consonance, assonance, alliteration, etc. are discussed and examples of possible phonological activities used for analyzing poetry are given.


phonological awareness; cognitive activities; poetic language; rhyme; rhythm; alliteration; onomatopoeia; homonymy; minimal pairs

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236