How and when to teach “Sight Words”

David just wrote in to ask me how and when to teach “sight words.”

These are the words that can’t be taught with regular phonics rules.

And as humans tend to do the most modifications to the language they use the most often, these words are some of the most common words in the language e.g. “I”  “the”  “are”  etc.

There’s no secret trick to teaching these, you just have to learn them by heart, so the key is making them fun.

We do this by teaching the students to speak first,   then once they can speak we introduce phonics for reading and then in any good phonics program the sight words will be inserted at various points throughout the program.   For example in Genki Phonics in the fifth lesson, after the students have learnt s, i, t, p and a, we introduce “I”  so that they can read their first simple story 🙂


As with anything with Genki English it’s all planned out for you,  so no need to worry,  just follow things in order and you’ll have pretty much zero stress teaching 🙂

If your students are already confident speakers then you can purchase the Genki Phonics program here. 

Or if your students need to learn to speak confidently first then the full Genki Phonics program is also included in the Genki English Teacher’s Set. 

Be genki,




Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!