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Spanish sight words lists for reading support

Learning Spanish sight words lists is not an easy task. Asking beginning readers to memorize up to one-hundred words or more is challenging. Imagine the responsibility for an ELL student or a young learner in Spanish?

While feeling overwhelmed is probably the way most bilingual students encounter when learning a new language. Children have to understand the letter identification portion before trying to memorize the Spanish sight word lists.

Reading support for ELL students

It is even more difficult for a student learning English as a second language. The more students practice English, sight words begin to come together like puzzle pieces, connecting words with phonetics in some cases. As student progress into the upper grades, they will learn even more how to group these sight words.

Reading is, of course, the essential goal. Whether you’re teaching students to use sight words more frequently in reading or writing, students must recognize the letters. Edward William Dolch developed an English word list for that purpose. His mission as an educator is to emphasize the importance of reading.

Remarkably, Dolch realized children learn to read in English when shown a list of words that needed memorization rather than phonetic skills. His list of words, better known as sight words to know or Dolch sight words, produces words that even make simple sentences. So early reading books fill pages of sight word combinations.

What is not to like about a list that can encourage young readers to read? Although the idea of learning to read from a list sounds simple and easy, the task is completely different for an ELL student. A child trying to learn English as a second language whose native language is Spanish comes across many challenges. One of those challenges is learning to correlate English sight words to Spanish words.

Spanish sight words lists

Spanish sight words lists help with literacy

If ELL students read books filled with English sight words, you know they are trying to assimilate prior knowledge with those words. While teaching them to understand that area of sight words with images, pictures, and games promote reading, Spanish sight words lists support those learning skills.

Very much like early readers need to memorize those sight words, ELL students also need to memorize Spanish sight words too. Helping with reading skills comes with support from home and school. ELL students progress when language skills help other areas of reading like phonetics, sentence structure, and literature.

Here you’ll find a list of first, second, and third-grade sight words that young learners need to know by the time they enter fourth grade.

I’ve included 12 sight words for the first grade along with each corresponding translation of the word. Of course, translation is nothing without content and context.

So use the worksheet as part of memory games, building sentences, looking these words in favorite stories or book, or as booklets. You can also send these Spanish sight words lists home so ELL students can practice reading and find familiar words.

Make sure to check out my previous posts about Spanish sight words, which includes more lists, tracking charts, and activities. 

10 ways to teach Spanish sight words

Spanish sight words

Spanish sight words lists for First Grade learners
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Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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