Working literacy magic with frequently used words

by Patricia Hipwell October 08, 2018

Working literacy magic with frequently used words

Recently we wrote about what parents and caregivers can do to help children who are struggling to read. If a student is reading very slowly, chances are the text is too difficult for them.

One of the tips we provided was to make sure your child knows the 200 most common words in English. But what are these words and how can you help your child or students learn them?

One excellent resource that stands out is Australian author, teacher, education consultant and psychologist Marcella Reiter’s Magic Words resources.

When Marcella was teaching her children how to read she found the most important words in learning to read and transformed an old pack of QANTAS playing cards into games featuring the words.

On her website, Marcella states her children began to call these 100 words Magic Words “because they were in every book, magazine and newspaper and just ‘magically’ appear in everything they read!”

While seeing these key words appearing everywhere may have seemed magical to Marcella’s children, it’s not surprising when you consider the research that went into the list.

The Magic Words are the result of an “extensive worldwide literature search of English word lists and word frequency research, to source the highest quality and most current data available”.

Unlike many high frequency word lists that are sourced from a small collection of books, Magic Words International’s extensive research produced “a unique compilation of words, with the highest statistical significance, for anyone learning to read in English.”

The Magic Words list is now used in schools around the world and in more than 80% of Australian Primary Schools.

You can find out more about this excellent resource here: https://www.magicwords.com.au/

Working literacy magic with frequently used words





Patricia Hipwell
Patricia Hipwell

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