A young child must develop phonemic awareness if she is to become a reader. That is to say she must understand that spoken words are made up of smaller units of speech sounds, called phonemes.
“The end point is for a child to develop phonemic awareness, the most important and sometimes the most difficult task in learning to read and the foundation of all subsequent reading and spelling instruction” ~ Shaywitz, 2003
There are three types if phonemic exercises: sound comparison, segmenting and blending. All three make up the phonemic awareness exercises in the Academy of READING. An example of a sound comparison exercise is rhyming. The student hears a word and then must choose the sound that rhymes from the three different sounds presented.