Sunday, October 4, 2020

Notes for parents and teachers (Part 2)

Dolch Word (Sight words) list

50-70% of all words used in school books are from the Dolch Basic Sight Words vocabulary of 220 words.

These 220 words are the most frequently used words in the English language. In order to achieve reading fluency it is best to get your child/student to memorise these words.

Dr. Edward William Dolch developed the list in the 1930s by studying the most frequently occurring words in children’s books.

Once a child knows this list of words, it makes reading much easier because the child can then focus his attention on the remaining words.

Some of these words cannot be easily sounded out because they employ complex phonetic rules to be decoded, or are otherwise phonetic exceptions. As such they are best memorised by rote memorisation.

All the Dolch words can be taught before children finish the first grade in school.

Although most of the 220 Dolch words are phonetic, it is best that children rote memorise them. For those who say that memorisation is not easy, think of the Chinese school children who have to memorise about 600 words per year for each of the 6 years in primary school. This is in addition to learning the sounds represented by letters in the Malay language and the different sounds represented by the same letters in Han Yu Pin Yin. Of course they have to learn to read in English as well.

All my more than 70 over students since 2004 have learned to memorise all the Dolch words within 4 months.

By memorising these words, they will recognise these words automatically which facilitates reading fluency.

The fact is that all of us are sight word readers; we do not sound them out.

In this book I use both memorising of Dolch words and phonics to teach children to read. Follow the instructions closely and your child/student will be able to read at grade level by the end of the year.

This book will help you to teach the decoding process by using phonics. As your student begins to recognize more words, he will gradually transition to sight word reading.

Reading can be quite slow in the beginning, when very few words look familiar to the child.

But after a child has sounded out a word multiple times, he or she will find it easier to recognise it by sight, which is to say he or she will be sight reading.

Teaching a word over and over again may seem pointless but repeated exposure will eventually do the trick. Children need plenty of practice reading the Dolch words before you can consider them as having learned.

I have introduced 5 Dolch words per chapter for the first 5 chapters and then 8 words per chapter for the remaining 25 chapters. No child will have problem learning to memorise these words. By the end of the 30 chapters all children will be able to decode, decipher and use context to read new and unfamiliar words.

Here is a video of a certified dyslexic kid, who could not read when he came to me,who was able to read all the Dolch words in less than 3 months.



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