Phonemic awareness refers to the manipulation of individual sounds, of which there are 44 in conventional English (and several more in the Southern US!). A basic phonemic awareness skill is blending an onset and rime (a rime is a vowel and any consonants that come after it, more popularly called a “word family”). In my experience, this is a skill that most teachers emphasize and is often mastered by dyslexic students before they begin specialized instruction. However, there are nine other skills relating to phonemic awareness; depending upon the severity of their disorder, dyslexic students may need systematic instruction through all of these skills. Phonemic awareness instruction is often improved by the use of visual cues (such as blocks or tapping the sounds using fingers). Phonemic skills instruction is not phonics instruction. Phonemic awareness is sound manipulation, whereas phonics includes the use of letter-sound associations and spelling patterns.
See the post under Reading.