Research suggests that in addition to being taught to decode, students should be explicitly taught to recognise common words, especially those with irregular spellings.
What are sight words?
Sight words are the most common words in English. The term refers to the notion that students should be able to instantly recognise the most common words in English 'by sight', without having to decode.
Why are sight words important?
In addition to being taught to decode words, research suggests that students benefit from being taught to recognise the most common words in English, especially those with irregular spellings such as 'who' and 'said'. Learning to instantly recognise highly frequent and irregularly spelled words helps students to develop fluency in reading and prevents students from attempting to decode words that do not contain typical letter-sound patterns.
Please note: teaching students sight words before they have learnt basic decoding skills is NOT recommended, and not supported by research! Teaching sight words should be a complementary strategy to assist the development of fluency as part of a systematic, phonics based method of reading instruction.
Which Reading Doctor® apps help with developing sight word recognition?
The following Reading Doctor® teaching apps help students to recognise and understand the 200 most common words in written English. For more information about how each app helps you to teach sight word recognition, please click on the links: