Helping Young Children Learn the Sounds of Letters

Alphabet blocks

Understanding the basic sounds of individual letters is an important basic skill in learning to read. Child care providers sometimes call this “learning the alphabet.” It also is called phonological awareness, which is the ability to pay attention to, identify, and use sounds of speech. Phonological awareness helps children break words into sounds and to blend sounds into words.

For example, children need to tell the difference between “d” and “t,” or “b” and “p.” Some letters can have a …