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Literacy Myth #2 - The Dolch Words Cannot Be Sounded Out

Most educators mistakenly believe that most of the Dolch Sight Words cannot be sounded out. Therefore, children around the United States begin reading instruction by memorizing these words by rote, rather than learning the linguistic principles that explain them. The theory is that the Dolch high-frequency words must be mastered for children to be able to read a text in English. And though it is true that many of these words are foundational to reading a sentence, they all have logical explanations, and most are completely phonetic if you know the rules and phonograms.

In addition many children become confused about what the symbols in their most elemental form represent. Even though they may have later phonics instruction, they often are left with the impression that the markings are about words and not sounds. This leaves children with the overwhelming task of memorizing 40,000-200,000 words by rote (the average number of words in an adult's vocabulary), when they could memorize 106 tools which logically explain 98% of English words.