For good reading comprehension, readers must be first able to decode the words fluently and have an adequate background in the information and the format that is presented. Some teachers and tutors tell parents that their child has poor comprehension when, actually, decoding or fluency problems are an important consideration. A major cause of poor reading comprehension is failure to monitor one’s own understanding. Students must be trained to do this, but rarely are.
Sight words are known on sight, usually within a split second. The reader does not have to think about how to decode these words. Sight words that beginning readers must learn are those which do not follow common phonics rules, yet appear often, especially in primary text.