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Dolch words are high-frequency English vocabulary commonly used to teach children to read. Learning to recognise them automatically can facilitate fluency in reading.

The Touch-type read and spell website states that:

'Dolch words, also known as sight words, account for between 50-75% of all vocabulary found in grade school reading material.'

It also goes on to explain who wrote the Dolch lists.

'The Dolch word list was created by Edward William Dolch in 1936 and first published in Problems in Reading in 1948. Dolch worked at the University of Illinois and based the list on the most common words in children’s books at the time.

This was a genre he was familiar with given he wrote and published many collections of stories, including interpretations of Aesop’s fables and even a title today’s Internet would fall head over heels for, I like cats: True cat stories.

Dolch recognised the value in teaching first-grade readers high-frequency words without forcing children to memorise a list of 500+ terms.

He narrowed his collection to 220 words and chose to leave nouns off of the list. The reason behind this decision was that nouns tend to be related to specific content and the more generic “service” words could be found across many different kinds of books and reading materials, regardless of topic.

However, it isn’t just grade school children who can benefit from learning the Dolch word list.

Individuals with dyslexia and other learning difficulties may find memorising the list a useful activity because it facilitates the development of reading and spelling skills.

Adults who are struggling readers can also benefit from learning Dolch words. Those students who are learning English as a second or additional language may be tasked with mastering Dolch words in beginner level classes.' (

Barrington Schooling Home Learning Guide

As school gates remain closed and thousands of parents and carers become teachers, finding the resources to help you homeschool your children can be both overwhelming and time-consuming. Barrington Stoke has over 21 years’ experience of publishing fiction for those who find reading a challenge. During that time we have developed our own tips and advice, and have also collaborated with many wonderful organisations to help support families. We have put this pack together to highlight what we and they are offering, particularly focusing on those home-help tips, advice and resources for families with children and young people with dyslexia. There are positives too: Caroline Bateman, Founder of Achieve Now, says: “When life gives us lemons there are chances to make lemonade! This is a unique opportunity for dyslexic children to learn in ways that suit them away from the stresses and strains of school life.”