This study outlines the development of linguistically based, language-specific measures of phonological awareness in isiXhosa and presents some preliminary findings. Hitherto, the study of phonological awareness has predominantly focused on English, and to date phonological awareness in Bantu languages has not been adequately addressed. This study explicitly discusses the decisions made when developing a phonological awareness test for isiXhosa, which can easily be adapted for other Bantu languages. Our results show how participants perform better in syllable awareness tasks and how this is conditioned by the language-specific structures of isiXhosa. We demonstrate the need for micro-linguistic and language-specific considerations in the development of phonological awareness tests.