Why Sight Words Don't Work

by Bruce Dietrick Price
(Virginia Beach)

Mr. Bruce Deitrick Price has written on another page of this site about the weaknesses of balanced literacy and the whole word method.

He has a YouTube Video: Why Sight Words Don't Work.

It reiterates the difficulty of teaching children to memorize words by sight when they will encounter the words in many different graphic forms (printing, cursive, various fonts, upper case, lower case, etc.)

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Why English?
by: David Adams

Whilst I can see what this video is driving at, I'm puzzled as to why English is singled out as a special case.

Surely this problem applies to all languages that use the Latin alphabet, and one or two other European alphabets as well?


The principal would be the same for English or any other phonic alphabet. Literacy became possible when words switched from diagrams (such as traditional Chinese and Egyptian) to sound-based. By teaching the phonic sounds, more words can be learned at one time and it therefore is easier and faster to teach reading with phonics. This video emphasizes English because that is the language of the country in which it was developed.

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