Flash Words

Flash Words


Flash Words are words that are first explained according to their letter-sound relationship and then practiced by means of a flashing technique where the learner must read the words by recognising them at a glance at different speeds.  These exercises help learners to read words by looking at them as a whole, rather than immediately resorting to analysing the words into their different sounds.  Learners are only encouraged to "sound" the word by making use of letter-sound correspondences as explained in the first section of the document "Sound words" when they cannot recognise the words as a whole.  Learners should follow the following program when reading flash words:


*  Always first start by going through the first section of the document titled "Sound words".  This is essential for the reinforcement of the relationship between letters and sounds (phonics).  If a learner has a limited knowledge of phonics he/she will also not have the skills to analyse words effectively when he/she cannot recognise it as a whole.  This implies that he/she has limited tools to use when reading, which makes reading more difficult.  Remember whole word recognition is the first priority and then analysis of words ("sounding" them) follows.


*  After a thorough knowledge of phonics has been gained, the learner can go to the "Read words at a 3 seconds flash" speed section.  There is no voice overs that accompany these exercises, which means that someone has to sit with the learner to help when he/she does not recognise the words at this speed.  This is very important, since children will reinforce incorrect word recognition skills when they go through the exercises unguided.  Make sure that the learner can recognise the words easily at this speed before moving on to the 2 seconds per word reading speed.  Consequently, practice often (every day if possible) to ensure that this takes place.


*  After a learner is proficient in recognising words easily at a speed of 3 seconds per word, move onto the "Read words at a 2 seconds flash" speed section.


*  The last section of the exercises is about reading words at a 1 second flash reading speed, which is quite fast and indicates a superior ability in fast word recognition.   When a learner has reached this phase and he/she can consistently perform at a level of 80% to 90% correctness in word recognition, then he/she can be regarded as proficient in the recognition of the specific words of the exercise practiced.  Try by all means to reach this level with a learner.


Click on the exercise below to go to it:


Read short a for apple words