There are 44 distinct sounds in the English language. Phonemic awareness is the knowledge of these sounds and the ability to manipulate them. Students who do not automatically know the 44 sounds in English rely on inefficient decoding strategies when they read. As text becomes more complex, these students' ability to understand what they read breaks down because they are laboriously trying to decode words. So too for English Language Learners, knowledge of the individual sounds is essential to speak and understand English.
Reading - You Can Do It Too! uses a systematic approach to teach the sounds of English. Students learn to divide words into sound units -- and not syllables. In my experience as a tutor trainer, I've seen tutors attempt to teach syllabication before they teach phonemic awareness. This is a mistake. If you consider the components of reading, it is essential to start with the first skill (phonemic awareness) as your base and then build upon it. Margaret Barker