Speedy Sight Words
'The irony of the teacher practice of presenting irregular words to be learned as unanalyzed wholes is that exception words require more analysis and attention than regular words, not less' (Kilpatrick 2015)
Any program that shows these words without clearly showing the phoneme to grapheme mapping is failing students. The irony is that adults do not need to 'teach' these words, they merely need to ensure that learners have good phonemic awareness and expose them to the MAPPED words. Children like doing this using the videos and booklets as they can work at their own pace, and do not need help.
SSP teachers have been doing this for about a decade. It's fast-paced and fully differentiated.
The Speech Sound Monsters on the Code Mapped words show the brain (instantly) what the mapped phoneme is.
Fry, Dolch, Oxford, Letters and Sounds...all Code Mapped and Monster Mapped.
If teachers gave children FAR MORE TIME to explore this mapping, they would reach the 'self-teaching' and 'orthographic mapping; phase far earlier. Instead, they usually ignore the mapping (asking them to memorise whole words) and teach limited mapping through 'phonics', where most phoneme to grapheme combinations are pretty predictable - and they spend YEARS on this work, that most young children can master in less than 12 months (the mapping included in the UK Year 1 Phonics test)
Letter-sound correspondences acquired by direct phonics instruction are fewer in number and are largely context free, involving one-to-one correspondences between single letters or digraphs and single phonemes. So they ignore these really interesting 'high frequency' words and ONLY really focus on high-frequency graphemes - eg a for ant (rather than a in was, father, about, water etc) - at a pace set for the class and not the learner. (this week we will learn this 'letter sound' etc)
This is because most teachers don't know how to 'teach', for example, the 8 or so phoneme options for the letter a (as a single letter grapheme - when we include it as a digraph or trigraph etc there are more) The issue is, therefore, the TEACHING - not the LEARNING. Children in our pre-school groups are learning to read and spell quickly and easily - and this means understanding those combinations. So the issue is not that children can't learn the 350+ phoneme to grapheme combinations used within the written code, it is that teachers don't know how to facilitate that learning.
That's what I do - I show teachers how to facilitate learning. This, generally, means that they need to STOP trying 'to teach' children, and focus on creating the environment in which they can LEARN without them.
There are simply too many letter-sound relationships in English orthography for children to acquire by direct instruction.
Much, if not most, of what children learning to read in English come to know about its written orthography is acquired through implicit learning, especially knowledge of context-sensitive letter-sound correspondences that depend on position-specific constraints or the presence of other letters.
As the reading attempts of beginning readers who have acquired basic alphabetic coding skills become more successful, the orthographic representations of more words become established in lexical memory from which additional spelling-sound relationships can be induced WITHOUT explicit instruction. As children continue to develop in reading, they begin making greater independent use of letter-sound information to identify novel printed words in text. Once this point is reached, the most effective way that children can achieve further progress in learning to read is through print exposure, as reading itself can provide practice opportunities for building fluency and for facilitating implicit learning of additional letter-sound patterns (Tunmer & Nicholson, 2011).
Suggested reading https://doi.org/10.1080/19404158.2019.1614081