The following are a few sight word lists that I use with some of my lower level students to get their reading engines humming before they start an extensive reading session. There are 7 high frequency word lists in all, broken down into: 1) function words I 2) function words II 3) verbs (including auxiliaries) 4) verbs inflected for past tense (when applicable) 5) nouns & adjectives 6) mixed list I 7) mixed list II. The words are all pulled from the first 200 most frequent words according to the New General Service List developed by Browne, Culligan and Phillips and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The sight word lists are (mostly) in their frequency order.
For students who are just learning to read, I sometimes will have them follow along with their finger as I read the words out one at a time. For students who are working on their letter-sound correspondence, I have them read a list or two out loud and keep track of their time. For students who are getting a bit more comfortable with reading, but still struggle with issues of automaticity, I give them a specific time to shoot for (under 60 seconds at first). I realise this might seem a little at odds with the whole idea of extensive reading, but I find that quickly improving students ability to read these high frequency words actually makes extensive reading a lot more pleasurable for my lower level learners. If you have any ideas for how to use sight word lists in your language classroom, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
These word lists are also available in one spiffy PDF file right here: Sight Word Practice Lists PDF.
Function Words I
Function Words II
Verbs, simple past sense
Nouns and adjectives
Mixed List I
Mixed list II