Phonological awareness is vital to an individual’s overall language abilities. In particular, phonemic awareness is fundamental in reading development and speech production (Gillion, 2000). FONEMZ is an interactive intervention technique that teaches phonological awareness and literacy skills through the use of symbols. 40 symbols, of different colors and distinct shapes, represent the main phonemes in General American English (Kaul et. al, 2009). FONEMZ was created in 2009 by Sandy Kaul. This approach involves the use of different FONEMZ: felt FONEMZ, fun FONEMZ and FONEMZ plus (Kaul, 2009a). Appropriate Populations
FONEMZ can be used with all populations and is intended for individuals who need visual cues, such as the deaf and hard of hearing populations or children with autism. Individuals with speech and communication impairments and students at risk for literacy deficiencies also benefit from FONEMZ (Kaul, 2009b). Rationale
Phonological awareness is necessary for language learning and development (Gillion, 2000). FONEMZ builds phonological awareness and auditory discrimination skills by using visual and tactile association in interactive and fun learning. Each phoneme is represented by a different color and shape. This combination promotes necessary skills for future reading and writing including sound-symbol associations, blending of sounds, and left to right progression. The different colors and shapes assist in memory (Kaul, 2009a). The FONEMZ shapes also mimic the orthography of the language symbol for that phoneme. Paivia (1986) describes how reaction times to instructions are faster with image association (as citied by Kaul (2009b). Administration Procedures
FONEMZ is a ‘bottom up’ approach and no previous knowledge or skill is needed to work with this tool. Kaul recommends beginning with phonemes the client can produce, and the relationship between the shapes and sounds should be mastered before letters are introduced (S....
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