Prime Words Research

Did you know that almost 75% of all the words you read are comprised from approximately 2,000 of the most frequently used words? We call these words Prime Words™ and use them in The Reader's Edge software to facilitate the teaching of Fluent Reading--the ability to read more than one word at a time, with each eye fixation, without vocalizing.

Prime Words are similar to earlier word lists, such as Dolch words, high frequency words and sight words. These words lists contain some of the most frequently used words in print material. These word lists are segmented by grade level and used by educators to help people learn how to read. Many of the words found in these lists do not follow phonetic "decoding" rules, so they must be learned by sight. Words like "a," "the," "and" and so forth are considered sight words, which means you recognize the word by sight, without having to think about its meaning or mentally pronounce the word.

How are Prime Words different?

The difference between these original word lists and our Prime Words lists are that the old word lists were created before computers; they were derived by manually tabulating small populations of words (thousands of words). By contrast, because virtually all printed material now emanates from digital sources, our Prime Words are derived from populations of millions of words that are now accessible with today's computer technology. We assembled our Prime Words lists by electronically scanning and sorting all the words found by combing the Internet as well as over 13,000 books.

How can these words lists be used?

Two of the main contributors to slow reading are eye fixation and word vocalization. Most people mentally say or physically mouth words as they read with their eyes, which requires the brain to slow the comprehension process. It makes sense that if you can increase your vocabulary of sight words, your eye will fixate less on each page and you will be able to read much more quickly.

Here at The Literacy Company we use Prime Words to create an environment for Fluent Reading. Using simple exercises we are able to help individuals increase their list of known words. By adding more words to your mental list of known sight words, you will improve your comprehension making you a better and faster reader!

Learn how you can read better and faster with our Prime Words and The Reader's Edge software.

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