Sight words are words that readers can recognize instantly without having to sound them out. They include
- short words that are used frequently in any text and are recognized automatically by fluent readers e.g., of, it, he, I, the (see the following page for a list of the 100 most commonly used English words)
- words that can’t be sounded out and have to be memorized e.g. through, tough, though and cough
- words of special interest to readers (depending on the students’ interests, these words may include basketball, hamburger, Costa Rica or computer)
Make a personal dictionary
(sometimes also called a “word
bank”) with your students either
as a group or individually. Use
a notebook, an address book or
a recipe box — whatever your
students prefer. Ask your students
to record new or difficult words
in their personal dictionaries.
They may want to add pictures,
symbols or anything that will
help them to remember the sound
or spelling of words.
Here are some ideas for practising sight words:
- Use flash cards. Make them together! Each card could include words,
symbols or pictures.
- Create crossword puzzles or word searches. (Note: There are websites that allow
you to generate your own puzzles such as www.puzzlemaker.com)
- Play word games – jumble, concentration, hangman.
- Make and complete cloze exercises (see page 26).
- Make and use a personal dictionary.