ERIC Number: EJ683147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-1
Learning to Read Words: Theory, Findings, and Issues
Ehri, Linnea C.
Scientific Studies of Reading, v9 n2 p167-188 Apr 2005
Reading words may take several forms. Readers may utilize decoding, analogizing, or predicting to read unfamiliar words. Readers read familiar words by accessing them in memory, called sight word reading. With practice, all words come to be read automatically by sight, which is the most efficient, unobtrusive way to read words in text. The process of learning sight words involves forming connections between graphemes and phonemes to bond spellings of the words to their pronunciations and meanings in memory. The process is enabled by phonemic awareness and by knowledge of the alphabetic system, which functions as a powerful mnemonic to secure spellings in memory. Recent studies show that alphabetic knowledge enhances children's learning of new vocabulary words, and it influences their memory for doubled letters in words. Four phases characterize the course of development of sight word learning. The phases are distinguished according to the type of alphabetic knowledge used to form connections: pre-alphabetic, partial, full, and consolidated alphabetic phases. These processes appear to portray sight word learning in transparent as well as opaque writing systems.
Descriptors: Phonemes, Memory, Learning Processes, Graphemes, Sight Vocabulary, Beginning Reading, Reading Instruction, Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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