Phonological Processing

What it is

An area of student need, involving detecting and discriminating differences in speech sounds. This is an oral skill and is not based on the student’s knowledge of letters.

Teaching Strategies

• Assess student’s current level of functioning to determine a baseline of what phonological information the student knows (rhymes, identifying parts of compound words, identifying initial sounds, blending, etc.).
• Develop and implement modified language expectations on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
• Pair visuals with oral instructions.
• Provide direct instruction in phonological processes by using visuals and/or concrete materials.
• Use concrete objects (blocks with letters on them) for the student to physically move when saying and reading a word.


• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions, so that the student is close enough to access assistive technology and manipulatives.
• Post reference information relating to phonology (word walls, word families, suffix and prefix rules, etc.).


• Provide additional time.
• Use oral testing and/or scribing.
• Allow the use of reference materials (dictionary).
• Ensure the student understands the questions.
• Provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate his/her learning by concrete application of the concepts.

For Purchase

Strategies for various student needs.