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  • Fiona Hanson

Sight Word Saga

Teaching children to read and write is an important goal to be reached within the first year they attend school from KG2 onwards. There are many lists available such as Fry's or Dolch's which are commonly used and can be found online. However, how suitable are these pre-prescribed lists to the international school educator?

In my experience I have found that many of these lists are a little out of touch with the needs of the children I taught in the Middle East. In theory, it is great to have a list that outlines the words they need to know. However, when you put it into practise and try to teach certain words - you soon find that not all of them are as commonly used at the beginning stages of learning. Particularly for those with little to no prior exposure to English.

It is very important to offer lots of exposure to the different sight words. This meant making varied sentence combinations and modelling diverse ways to express ourselves using the sight words. Unfortunately it wasn't always possible with the list of words given.

Desert Learning Ltd has a great solution for international teachers with Sight Word Series books that are designed to be useful for sentence making at the very early stages of English learning. They offer 18 books that cover 42 sight words. Some of the books contain places within the Middle East that is sure to get your children excited about writing their own sentences.

Children can use the corresponding student workbooks that are available to write meaningful sentences that are modelled within the books. They can enjoy the writing process and feel excited at the thought of sharing their own experiences. Each word is chosen to get lots of use from it and build a solid foundation for the coming years. They begin with simple sentences and progress towards using connectives and descriptive words towards the end of the second workbook.

The books are very vibrant and will be a great addition to any classroom or even for use at home. Children love them and so will you!

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