While children learn new words daily on their own, they may need some help to build a good vocabulary for a language that is not commonly spoken at home. Today’s children have much more exposure to different languages through videos and other online material. However, they may still need some help to be able to fully understand the correct usage of words and to be able to use it on their own. A good vocabulary is an important part of the learning process. It gives children of all ages the confidence and comfort to read literature, perform well in academics and become fluent in the language. Are you thinking of dashing to the dictionary and make your child learn it all? Stop! Here are four fun and effective ways to help your child improve his vocabulary.
Read, read & read – Yes, we are going to be talking about book reading again. By now, you may have been told about numerous benefits of book-reading and we are discussing it here as well! We can beat around the bush but there is no better way to say this – Books are the best. Along with so many other benefits, books introduce children to new words. Reading a new word in a sentence for the first time helps them form a contextual meaning to the word. To take it up a notch, you can help them find the exact meaning of the word. Learning it by reading and understanding also helps with the retention of new words.
Conversation – Interactive learning is a powerful tool that can be used to help children build vocabulary as well. When you help a child learn new words, try to build a conversation around it. Telling a short snippet around the word to help them better understand the context and become confident in using the word in their own diction. Even if your child has begun to read on their own, it might help to read something together every day to discuss new words, phrases and idioms. Interactive learning is particularly useful for idioms and phrases that are harder to understand out of context.
Word games – As we always say, learning does not have to be boring. Children are amazing beings and have the capacity to learn in different ways which is why games can help as well. Encourage them to solve crosswords and word puzzles. In addition to classic games like Scrabble, you can now make use of the numerous game apps as well – Word Legend Puzzle.
Writing – As you encourage reading for pleasure, it is equally important to motivate the children to write in their free time as well. Select topics of their interest – a favourite tv show, or the toys they love the most. It helps them learn to structure their thoughts in proper sentences. Give a few word hints that they can use in their writing. Or, read aloud the written piece and suggest some alternate words they could have used.
A little effort can go a long way – once you help your child see that learning is an enjoyable activity, they are more likely to seek active learning on their own as well as they grow up.
Time to get reading and talking!