Building Sight Word Knowledge with Beginning English Learners

Focusing on sight word knowledge with beginning English learners is a great way to build literacy and language skills. 

Sight Words In Context

Sight words are important part of reading, but out of context, ELs have a hard time understanding the meaning behind these words. So, depending on students' language proficiency, I highly recommend adding meaningful context to the focus sight words.

As for resources, I use a variety and I'm always changing it up.

I often pick out sight words from our weekly guided reading books. As we move on to new books, I'll spiral back and review the ones we've learned. As a quick comprehension check, I'll ask a word to be used in a quick sentence. 

Sometimes I add an activity for additional reinforcement and practice. 

I like using this resource with my primary elementary students and upper elementary newcomers.

I also use Jan Richardson's book, The Next Steps in Guided Reading because it has wonderful resources throughout. One of them being lists of sight words according to reading level. I've color coded mine using colored index cards. 

Another fun favorite with my primary elementary students is this "Read it, Build It, Write It" resource from Cindy Gilchrist found here. It's perfect to use as an independent or literacy center activity.

Sight words are like the glue that holds sentences together. It's important that beginning ELs can read them, but also understand their meaning. Hearing them, reading them, using them and writing them are what makes the glue sticky (pardon the analogy:).