Developing Phonemic Awareness in Emergent Readers

(Grades PreK-2) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 76T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41478


Course Description

Are you struggling to find effective research-based teaching practices to teach the essential foundational skills of reading? This online course is designed to help PreK-2 teachers as they explore a variety of ways to develop their students’ phonemic awareness skills so that these emergent readers can become more successful, both in school and at home. The course begins by delving into the research behind phonemic awareness. Teachers will learn how to assess their emergent readers’ phonemic awareness skills. Teachers will take a deep dive into a variety of research-based best practices as their young students learn to auditorily and visually discriminate the various sounds and letters as they transition from emergent to early readers. Teachers will be introduced to the alphabetic principle, and they will learn how phoneme knowledge can be used to blend sounds into words. Several instructional strategies for helping students increase their phonemic awareness include such things as blending, rhyming, onset and rime, syllable segmentation, and more. As students learn about print concepts, teachers will learn how to use the language experience approach to reinforce basic phonemic skills and concepts so that student comprehension increases. Other essential foundational skills which are addressed throughout the course include the cloze procedure, maze technique, retelling procedure, high frequency and sight words, and read-alouds. Teachers will understand how to build essential home-school connections so that the basic reading skills learned in the classroom can be practiced and reinforced at home. Finally, teachers will be introduced to the connection between phonemic awareness and writing. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident in their ability to incorporate a variety of best practices into their own teaching habits so that PreK-2 students have a solid foundation in phonemic awareness. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I have taken several online courses and the PDI course content and resources were excellent. I was able to transfer course content to my classroom directly. I am very pleased that I took this course." - Christian Barnes

Enrollment Options

Course Only

Only $127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

Only $323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.



Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC41478
Unit One
  • Phonemic Awareness Research
  • Assessing Phonemic Awareness
  • Introduction to the Common Core Standards for Reading
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Visual and Auditory Discrimination
  • Introducing Letters and Alphabetic Knowledge
  • Introducing Phonemes
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Introducing Blending
  • Introducing Rhymes
  • Introduction to Syllable Segmentation
  • Onset and Rime
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Concepts About Print
  • Language Experience Approach
  • Importance of Comprehension
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Cloze Procedure and Maze Technique
  • Assessment Through Retelling
  • High Frequency and Sight Words
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Making the Most of Read Alouds
  • Getting Parents Involved - Reading at Home
  • The Emergent Writer
  • Assignment #4: Develop activities for five predictable or rhyming books
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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