Phonological awareness is awareness of the sound structure of words (syllables, rhyming, speech sounds etc). Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness, and refers to awareness of individual speech sounds (phonemes).

The main reason to become aware of the structure of spoken words is to represent them with letters, so many programs teach phonemic awareness in the presence of letters/spellings. However, some children get very focussed on letters and find thinking about sounds very hard unless the letters are removed. Also, since oral-only phonemic awareness activities require no printed materials, they can be presented very efficiently to classes in short bursts.

This page is still under construction @ March 2019, but anyway, that’s a start.