Phonological processing is an auditory processing skill. It relates to words, but occurs in the absence of print. It involves detecting and discriminating differences in phonemes or speech sounds under conditions of little or no distraction or distortion. A student with phonological processing needs may have difficulty in one of many different detection or discrimination tasks involving speech sounds in words. This might be manifested through errors in speech production or in misperception of spoken language. In school, the student often has difficulty associating the speech sounds to letters when reading and spelling.
Key indicators of phonological processing needs relate to auditory detection, discrimination, and production tasks involving the sounds in words. The most direct indicators will be through the student’s speech production or auditory perception of words. Indirect indicators will be through the student’s reading and written language: Speech production errors, including:
Auditory perception errors:
Reading and written language problems, including difficulties in:
Instructional Strategies: Direct instruction of phonics skills, based on the specific skill deficit, including:
Assessment Strategies: When assessing a student’s reading and written language skills, make sure that phonological processing deficits do not penalize the student when evaluating their knowledge.