DEFINITION OF TERMS
SYNTACTIC AWARENESS (GRAMMAR)
Syntactic awareness (i.e., grammar) refers to the student's ability to put phrases, clauses, and sentences together into correct and meaningful patterns. In this document, the term "syntactic awareness" as used in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten indicates a listening/speaking skill--not the formal study of grammar.
The spoken word consists of a sequence of elementary sounds (phonemes). A phoneme is defined as the minimal change in sound that will change one word into another word: sit-> bit; top ->shop (see Figure 1, Intervention Strategies for Phonemic Awareness). Phonemic awareness is the ability to recognize and manipulate the number, type, and sequence of phonemes within the word. A syllable divides into two primary parts: onset and rime. The rime is the vowel and any consonant sounds that come after it. The onset, if it is there, consists of any consonant sounds that precede the vowel (e.g., split -- spl- is the onset and -it is the rime[see Figure 3, List of Phonemic Awareness Assessments]).
Alphabetic knowledge refers to the student's knowledge of symbols used to write English. Such knowledge includes letter names, alphabetic order, visual recognition of both lower and upper cases, written production of both lower and upper cases, and lower case and upper case correspondences.
The student should be able to form legible letters--both lower and upper cases--in both manuscript style and cursive style.
Print concepts are the conventions and formats used in written English. Directionality: Left to right Top to bottom Front to back Significance of spacing: No space between letters of a word A space between words Empty line between paragraphs or indentation of paragraph Titles and captions: as set apart from text Punctuation and capitalization: as separating thoughts Parts of a book (e.g., title page, table of contents, chapters, index, glossary) Format of different genres (e.g., stanzas for poetic form)
ORTHOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE (SPELLING)
Orthographic knowledge refers to the knowledge of how the sounds (phonemes) of a language are mapped to the symbols (letters) of that language for use in reading and writing. Prerequisites for