Fall 2017


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Trish Harvey

Content Expert

Judy Croegaert


The research question for this paper and project was: Why is phonemic awareness important for English learners (ELs) and how can it be developed? The interest in this topic arose from observing English learners struggle with various English phonemes, especially the vowels, and the surprising difficulty of teaching students to acquire them. Research shows that phonemic awareness contributes to successful reading achievement and can affect intelligibility. English learners may struggle with phonemic awareness as phonemes that exist in English may not exist in their L1s. This paper and project focuses on native Spanish speakers and the distinction of the /i/ and /I/ phonemes, as the /I/ phoneme does not exist in Spanish and is thus often perceived as /i/. The project is a 10-lesson curricular unit aimed to teach K-1 students to both perceive and produce the /i/ and /I/ phonemes distinctly. The project is viewed as a template for further developing phonemic awareness using various phonemes with which students may struggle.

Project Type



Curriculum, ESL/ ELLs, Reading, Teachers/ Teaching

Included in

Education Commons