Phonemic awareness refers to the word “phoneme” which means sound. When a word is broken down into its smallest unit, a sound (or phoneme), the term “phonemic awareness” is used. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes (sounds). Phoneme isolation, blending, and segmenting are several skills that fall under this category. For example, separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. What word do we get from "cat" after swapping the first sound, /k/ with the /h/ sound? What word do we hear when "dog" is said backwards? Your phonemic awareness will help here!