The benefits of sight word instruction extend far beyond their immediate use in helping young people learn to read.
- When children learn a sight word, they are making a connection between their prior knowledge of the word (its pronunciation and meaning) and its spelling.
- The process of merging the two is mediated by their knowledge of the alphabet. The letters and their corresponding sounds create a mnemonic that helps the child remember the word.
- Researchers say once a child has repeatedly practiced this skill for learning vocabulary by moving through the lists of sight words, the process becomes ingrained in her repertoire of reading skills.
- They will then instinctively begin using this method for integrating new, more complex sight words into her knowledge base.