Page: 17-23 Author: Májová, L. Key words: Phonological skills, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, reading develop-ment.
The text aims to offer a psycholinguistic view of the subject of the acquisition of reading skills and to outline the theoretical background of the current view of phonological skills as an important factor in the process of reading. One key concept here is „phonological awareness“, which is a term relatively little known or used in Czech specialist circles. It means the skill to identify individual phonemes and to work with them consciously
in various ways. In current psycholinguistic works, phonological awareness is regarded as having a fundamental influence on the development of reader literacy (see e.g. Caravolas, et al. 2001; de Jong, Olson 2004; Wimmer et al. 1991 and others).
In the academic world there is no general agreement, however, on questions of the origin of phonological awareness and the concrete forms of its role in the acquisition of literacy. The text presents different views on the content of the concept (i.e. answers to the question of which individual skills make up phonological awareness as a whole), different approaches to the significance of the different proposed elements of phonological awareness, and also different views of its development in the framework of the cognitive system of the child.
The interaction between phonological awareness and learning the letters of the alphabet is presented from the point of view of different research studies that seek to analyse the character of the interactive process in more detail. In view of the paucity of academic discussion on this theme in the Czech research community, the whole text is based on foreign literature, most of it in English. In the conclusion to he article, however, we draw attention to some derived Czech research studies that are trying pre-cisely to explore this early, absolutely initial relationship between the capacity to isolate phonemes and to learn letters (Málková et al. 2008). The goal of these studies is to contribute to findings useful in the field of primary teaching practice.