Literacy is something that should be of high priority in the development of our academic skills. There are many ways we can aspire to do this such as developing our reading comprehension, learn to spell, and become faster readers. But increasing your literacy by becoming skilled in the use of sight words is one method that many people do not utilize. Whether you are hoping to bring your literacy and vocabulary up to par with your grade level or age group or wanting to further develop your literacy, understanding sight words is a great tool.
What Are Sight Words?
Sight words can be described best as the core words that are used frequently in reading and writing. The term ‘sight words' comes from the concept that you will be able to instantly recognize these words at first sight. Unlike other words where you may have to sound them out to pronounce, understand and comprehend them. Basically, they are the words that are foundational to literacy.
Why Are They Important?
These words are important because your literacy is important. It's crucial for readers to learn to master the use of these words. They are the core words that account for most of the text we read. They’re common words that you will be faced with over and over, knowing how to read, pronounce, and understand such these words will make you a better reader. Since there are different sight words for each grade level, mastering each level is important. Think of using sight words as if you are removing the blind fold.
People that have not learned to use sight words generally have a hard time learning to read and write at a high level. For example, an adult with a reading level like that of a child in grade 6 is bound to face more difficulties with reading and writing than that of a person who has developed their sight word levels. In addition, understanding these words are an effective strategy to figure out unknown words. This is vital since not all words follow basic phonic principles. They can't always be sounded out. By instantly recognizing and understanding most of the words in a sentence, it becomes easier to comprehend and learn the meaning of new words that you unfamiliar with.
How Do They Work?
By understanding the different levels of sight words, you can consider them stepping stones of literacy. Once you have learned which words are relevant to your current level, you can then continue to the next level. It is important to understand this because you must be successfully with one level of words to advance to the next and ensure that your vocabulary is continually increasing. Otherwise it could become confusing. It is expected that you would continue to recognize increasingly words moving forward. Once you know them, then you’re good. The words become imprinted into your brain and are an automatic part of your reading and thinking process.
How to Get Started
The first thing you need to do is to determine your literacy level and gather all the sight words for that level. Print the words out or make up a worksheet of your own. Be creative, use the internet or look on Pinterest to help make the learning process more exciting and fun. You can print the words out on flash cards or try one of the many educational words apps. The key is to memorize the sight words by practicing each day. Keep going until all sight words can be instantly recognized. Test yourself by using pop up flash cards and then analyze your response time.
Furthering the foundation of your literacy has never been easier or more enjoyable than learning to master sight words. Incorporate sight words into your daily activities or even turn them into games that you play with your family. It's an excellent way to engage and educate while also making yourself smarter and achieving a higher level of literacy.