Helping Children Learn Sight Words

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Sight words are an essential aspect of language that is often difficult for young kids to grasp fully. You see, they fill a niche in the English language that people who have been speaking the language all their life will instinctively know regardless of your actual education on the matter.

However, young students may have a hard time understanding or identifying sight words, making teaching them a bit more tricky. Thankfully, young kids are like sponges who love innovative and exciting ways for them to absorb information. Today, we will take a look at sight words and how you can help your young kids better learn and understand them.

What Are Sight Words?

It’s entirely possible that you might not even be aware of sight words yourself, as it is something that may come to you naturally. Sight words are, in essence, words that might have no particular rules attached to their structure but are instantly recognizable to fluent speakers and readers and can thus be spoken and read without issue.

Thus, it’s understandable why a child may have some trouble with these words, as sometimes, just sounding them out as they appear might not work. That’s why teachers and parents must help teach what these sight words are and how they are pronounced individually.

In the 1930 and 40s, Dr. Edward William Dolch created a now-famous and widely-used Dolch Sight Words List. This list takes over 300 of the most commonly used “service words” and high-frequency nouns from children’s stories of that period and puts them into categories based on their school progress.

How Are Sight Words Taught?

More often than not, sight words are taught through simple memorization. Because they sometimes don’t have any rules attached to their spelling – or rules that would be appropriate for a child of this age – teachers and parents often turn to simply helping children memorize these words.

Of course, this isn’t a flawless method, and not all kids can grapple with this method as easily as others. If we were to look at the memorization method for learning new words, we would find ourselves quite stunted regarding what we would be expected to know in our older years.

How Can Sight Words Be Better Taught?

With the rapid expansion of technology into education, there are many different ways you can teach language at any level using technology. There are many other apps and tools that can help facilitate better learning of various subjects and topics – not just language and sight words. With the inclusion of technology into your lessons, you help kids learn in a more modernized way that also helps teach them better digital literacy, which is almost essential in the modern-day.

Concluding Thoughts

To summarize quickly, sight words are simple words that can be learned to help improve a reader’s fluency and skill. They often don’t have rules attached to their structure, or at least rules that a child would know, making it more difficult for them to grasp at first. 

By helping them learn and memorize the words, they can quickly identify them early on, which makes learning the actual rules and structure at a later date much more accessible.

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