Word Recognition

Literacy Portfolio, Marilyn Willis

Word Recognition- the ability to automatically recognize a large bank of words commonly referred to as sight words, enabling emergent readers to comprehend text and read with an organized and analytical proficiency.

"Students achieve automatic word recognition when they read full texts, not when they spend hours on drills with isolated word lists". (Clay, 1991;Pinnell &Fountas, 2007)


Students best learn how to identify words and their literal meaning when they are able to process larger portions of text efficiently when encountered within the context of written language. Word analysis skills and automatic word recognition are the foundation for a reader becoming proficient at being able to make sense of any written text. When exposed to full text, being able to identify known words quickly, decode unfamiliar words using word analysis skills and utilizing what information they already possess from the four cueing systems, readers are able to grasp a true comprehension of the text they are reading.

Students use what they infer from their receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, sight vocabulary and sight words to expand their reading knowledge and process information.

Being exposed to a variety of texts and auditory absorption aids in the growing bank of words that will be mastered when reading. The more often a reader is approached with a word, the more likely it will become part of their expressive vocabulary. Readers will eventually become comfortable with recognizing these words effortlessly. Sight words which do not conform to pronunciation rules should be explicitly taught within phrases in order for the reader to gain understanding of the meaning of text.

Rhyme, Rime, and Repetition

Rhyme is an effective characteristic in learning to read because it can be mastered in an auditory manner. Playing games where movement signals hearing the rhyming words such as clapping or snapping can help students make connections to hearing similar sounding words. Word family games and activities can enable students to blend onset and rimes and build on word knowledge. Becoming proficient in identifying the rime is a tool that will enable readers to read with fluency and promotes a greater comprehension when reading passages and text. https://youtu.be/abv5txTKYSc