The most difficult list of words for Dyslexics to learn is the Dolch List. Parents and teachers often tell me their Dyslexic children will be able to spell more challenging words like “volcano” or “dinosaurs” but not spell the really simple words. These words are often hard for a Dyslexic to and learn and remember as they are not easily connected to something concrete in their minds. For example, they can picture a “volcano” and a “dinosaur” but how do they picture “that” or “or” or “soon”. This is similar to their problem with visualizing individual sounds when sounding out a word. They have no meaning to them. “C-A-T” are only sound, “CAT” is an animal.
The Dolch site word list is a list of frequently used words compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD. The list was prepared in 1936 and was originally published in his book Problems in Reading in 1948.
Many of the 220 Dolch spelling words do not follow the basic phonics princples, so they cannot be “sounded out.” They should be learned by sight. Dolch words are now often referred to simply as “sight words.” Although the list is traditionally divided into grades, most school systems say that the Dolch words should be mastered by the end of 1st Grade.
There are lots of easy ways to teach the dolch sight words. Unfortunately, most teachers have been led to believe that the words on the Dolch Sight Word List cannot be sounded out and must be taught as whole words, but that is not true. The truth is that 90% of the words on the Dolch list are completely phonetic and can be sounded out if the child knows basic phonics. They don’t need to be taught as whole words as is commonly done. Here is a list of 220 most commonly used sight words.