Why is it important?
Reading is the most important skill that a child can ever learn, as children with reading difficulties will definitely have trouble with mastering nearly all school subjects and even learning in general, despite the fact that he/she is motivated to learn and study. The more likely outcome is that the child will become demoralised and begin to dislike reading and studying more and more, leading to a downward spiral in results. Conversely, children who learn to read early on would have acquired the fundamental skill to continue their learning journey in life, and usually continue to do well as they enter adulthood. Sight word and Phonics are the 2 components that are both essential in teaching a child to read
What are they?
Sight Words, or the words from the Dolch Word List, consist of words most frequently used in the English Language. Though they number about 200, Sight Words make up approximately 50% to 70% of any given general, non-technical text. These words also are not easy to spell phonetically and their meaning and pronunciation can be better learnt by sight recognition, and hence the name. For a word to be spelled phonetically would mean spelling based on the sounds or groups of sounds that they produce. These words also form the first essential component for individual reading to take place. Even before phonics is taught, Sight Words must be learnt first. If not, the child will spend too much mental effort on blending all the common words, and this will reduce their mental capacity to understand, which defeats the whole idea of reading. Hence we start our students on our advanced phonics programme only AFTER they have a reasonable understanding of simple texts comprising sight words.
The Power of Sight Words
The importance of sight words cannot be underestimated, and including these words as part of your child’s reading curriculum is the fastest way to get him/her to start reading!