Learning To Read Using Sight Words & Phonics

Published: 10/06/2021

Teaching your child to read is one of the best and most important gifts you could ever give to your child.

This will make the world’s opportunities available to them and foster a lifelong ability to learn. Teaching your child to read requires some understanding of the mechanics of language and how literacy is learned. Some of the fundamentals of literacy are phonics, sight words, word analysis and phonemic awareness.

In English and other alphabetic languages, the written language is made of letters. These letters, individually and in combination, represent the spoken language’s sounds. We learn from a very young age to associate these sounds with letters and various combinations of letters. This is known as the alphabetic component of language learning and literacy – a process which involves phonemic awareness, word analysis, phonics, and sight words.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear the spoken language and identify the phonemes which the language is composed of. In the English language, there are approximately 40 of these phonemes, which are the building blocks of the spoken language. Phonemes are represented in the written language by letters and combinations of letters which are called graphemes. An understanding of these phoneme/grapheme pairs is one of the first steps in learning to read.

Another early step in gaining literacy is word analysis.

Literacy through word analysis

Another early step in gaining literacy is word analysis. This is a method of phonics instruction which emphasizes the grapheme/phoneme pairs within words. It should be kept in mind that English contains a relatively large number of words which do not follow the usual patterns and that many graphemes may represent more than one phoneme depending on context.  This is where sight words come into play.

Sight words are those that are frequently used; many of which do not follow the phonics rules. Due to the nature of these words, educators encourage new readers to develop the ability to recognize them upon sight. By memorising these most common phonetically irregular words children can focus more on reading words that follow the phonic rules

The most common sight words are included in lists compiled by Edward B. Fry and Edwards W. Dolch after their extensive research into how literacy is acquired by children. These sight words often make up two-thirds or more of the text in beginner level books, and over half of all English text. Once these common words are mastered, children will be on the fast track to reading.

Sight word recognition and phonics are best taught together when learning to read. Many different schools of phonics instruction exist, each with their own emphasis. Analytic phonics helps children recognize words first and then works from this understanding to help children learn about the phoneme/grapheme pairs which make up the word.

Phonics in spelling teaches children to form words by using graphemes and phonemes. Analogy phonics is focused on helping children to use the words they already know to infer the meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar words. Contextual phonics is the skill of learning unfamiliar words’ meanings from the context in which they are used. All of these methods of teaching phonics are more effective once the child has mastered their sight words.

Parents need to have an understanding of all of these basics of literacy in order to give their child a good start towards literacy. Armed with an understanding of phonics, phonemic awareness, word analysis and sight words will enable you to do a great job of teaching your child basic reading skills which will serve them well for a lifetime.

Both children and parents can enjoy the process of learning to read. Various methods are available to teach children the basis reading skills – one such approach is incorporating them into games. This is often effective as it is more likely to keep children’s attention.

Er-u-di-tion is a sight words board game that exposes children to basic phonic sounds and sight words in a fun environment. The game’s playing cards are categorized by level of difficulty so children with different skill levels can play together.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1784866

Reading Club

Contact: Mrs Natalie Smith
Email: natalie.smith@myschool.com
Contact Number: 03 5555 8888
Time: 10am
Where: Library
Who is it for? Ages 4-10

Description: Let your child come to Reading club and learn to read using phonics and sight words. All the kids have great fun and enjoy learning to read using phonics. Parents who hold a working with children card are encouraged to come and help you want to.


1 Comment
  1. Neil Forrester


    This is a comment. This post has been very informative and I look forward to reading future posts.

    Kind regards,
    Neil Forrester.

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