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Expert Connection

TeachingLD provides answers to common questions about teaching students with learning disabilities. We solicit questions (submit your own question), select those that are of general interest, and ask professionals with expertise about those specific aspects of learning disabilities to summarize—in practical terms—the research relevant to those questions. The Editors of TeachingLD have been supported by the un-compensated assistance of people with substantial knowledge and experience in preparing answers.

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Phonological Skills: Which Ones Really Matter the Most?—Paige Pullen

Q:I've heard a lot about how important phonological skills are in early reading, but there seem to be so many of them. There's rhyming, deletion, segmenting, blending, substitution, and on and on. My question is, "Do I really need to teach all of these skills? Which ones are most important? What are good ways for me to teach them?" Trina, Boise, ID.
A:Dr. Paige C. Pullen of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia addresses this question, providing not just background about phonological awareness, but also useful teaching techniques for improving young children's awareness of the phonological basis of English.