Sight Word and Phonics Training in Children With Dyslexia

Genevieve McArthur*, Anne Castles, Saskia Kohnen, Linda Larsen, Kristy Jones, Thushara Anandakumar, Erin Banales

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)


    The aims of this study were to (a) compare sight word training and phonics training in children with dyslexia, and (b) determine if different orders of sight word and phonics training have different effects on the reading skills of children with dyslexia. One group of children (n = 36) did 8 weeks of phonics training (reading via grapheme–phoneme correspondence rules) and then 8 weeks of sight word training (reading irregular words as a whole), one group did the reverse (n = 36), and one group did phonics and sight word training simultaneously for two 8-week periods (n = 32). We measured the effects of phonics and sight word training on sight word reading (trained irregular word reading accuracy, untrained irregular word reading accuracy), phonics reading (nonword reading accuracy, nonword reading fluency), and general reading (word reading fluency, reading comprehension). Sight word training led to significant gains in sight word reading measures that were larger than gains made from phonics training, phonics training led to statistically significant gains in a phonics reading measure that were larger than gains made from sight word training, and both types of training led to significant gains in general reading that were similar in size. Training phonics before sight words had a slight advantage over the reverse order. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings for improving the treatment and assessment of children with dyslexia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-407
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2015


    Dive into the research topics of 'Sight Word and Phonics Training in Children With Dyslexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this