Sight word

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High frequency sight words (also known simply as sight words) are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.[1] Sight words were introduced after whole language (a similar method) fell out of favor with the education establishment.[2]

The term sight words is often confused with sight vocabulary, which is defined as each person's own vocabulary that the person recognizes from memory without the need to decode for understanding.[3][1]

However, some researchers[who?] say that two of the most significant problems with sight words are: (1) memorizing sight words is labour intensive, requiring on average about 35 trials per word,[4] and (2) teachers who withhold phonics instruction and instead rely on teaching sight words are making it harder for children to "gain basic word-recognition skills" that are critically needed by the end of grade three and can be used over a lifetime of reading.[5]