The importance of vocabulary can never be overvalued. A considerable amount of effort should be allocated to improving vocabulary in primary school for your child. The breadth of your child’s vocabulary in primary school predicts their ability to read and learn and write too.
Increasing a child’s knowledge of words provides access to new information. But to teach your child vocabulary productively, you must learn the skills necessary to apply the best approaches. Looking for tips and tools that can help you in improving vocabulary in primary school for your child? Well, here are just the means to get you started!
Also Read: What To Teach a 5 Year Old Kid?
Keep it fun
One of the most important is, keeping it fun. Children at this young age get irritated easily when burdened with studies. So make sure that you are not putting too much on your child’s shoulders at a time. It will surely help in improving vocabulary in primary school.
Also Read: Fun Things To Do With Toddlers
Make conversation your prime concern
The grade of parent-child interactions is one of the biggest components of influencing vocabulary. So it’s necessary to talk to your child and to expose them to different words.
Try naming objects like body parts. Use a number of words. Introduce words that explain emotions, so that your kid actually understands them. The more understanding your kid has of the word, the more will they be able to use it. Understanding helps a lot in improving vocabulary in primary school.
Reading for meaning
This is basically a research-based strategy that helps the readers make sense of the words that they find challenging. This basically states that your kid should be let to choose the literature/story of their own. Research shows that the more interested a child is in something, the more motivated they will be in doing it. Hence improving vocabulary in primary school.
Teach with context
Going through a list of words that are not connected in any way, is a wrong approach. Try to teach your child words that are connected and refer to a specific context at a time. For example with the word ‘sea’, you can teach your child the words ‘blue’, ‘deep’, ‘big’, etc. Relation in words always helps in improving vocabulary in primary school.
This is one of the most effective ways of improving vocabulary in primary school. Children are very much interested in stories and fairytales. Read stories to them. And the fun fact is, if they don’t understand a word, they will ask you about it because they will be keen on knowing what happens next.
The Goldilocks Principle
Professor Nell Duke recommends applying the “Goldilocks Principle”. It simply states that don’t give your child too many words at a time, and not too few either. Choose five unfamiliar words for your child to learn each week. Try that the other family members use those words in the everyday conversation too.
Usually, a child needs to hear a new word 4 to 12 times before it is added to the vocabulary. When you are teaching your child a new word, try to keep a mental note of it. Use that word again in your conversation and in different contexts too.
Don’t hesitate to use a word that you had previously worked on, because repeated exposure helps drastically in improving vocabulary in primary school.
Learning vocabulary is a sliding scale
Most of the people see learning vocabulary is a very black and white issue; either you know the word or you don’t. However, that is not true. There are words that you know but don’t understand, there are words that you understand but don’t use, there are words that you regularly use in your daily life.
Try not to restrict yourself to only using words that your child knows, and don’t stress if your child doesn’t use the same word you use to refer to an object. Your child will begin to understand the subtle difference between the two gradually.
Teach them through visual displays
Powerpoint presentations, picture books, and picture novels are some very good visual mediums for improving vocabulary in primary school for your child. It stimulates your child’s thinking about the meaning, importance, and the relationship between words as they analyze and create.
Use digital vocabulary mediums
The world has become a global village because of electronic media, and you can surely reap significant benefits from that. So many useful mediums are present on the internet. You can use thesauruses and dictionaries online that can help you and your child out in improving vocabulary in primary school.
Play word games
Oh, the use of all those bright and colorful word games for children online. Children seem to have a keen interest in it, and the sublime feeling of achievement when they complete a level, keeps them going. It helps them learn so many new words without them even considering studying it.
www.wordgametime.com has many free, educational games for kids.
Use the words in your family
If you want your kid to learn those new words effectively, you must try to use your words when addressing your other family members too. The more you use those words in daily conversations, the more quickly your child will pick up those words.
Make a big deal of language
Positive reinforcement is known to help children learn, so create an environment where vocabulary is praised and celebrated. Make a fuss of new words your child uses in speaking and writing; the more enjoyable the experience of learning vocabulary, the more children will be geared to pick it up.
Don’t ‘dumb down’
Children always have a bigger receptive vocabulary than expressive vocabulary: That is, they understand more words than they’re able to use. This means that there is no need to oversimplify the way in which you talk to your child.
Don’t water down your language, and remember that you should expose a child to a word 12 times a day for them to fully take it in.
All these approaches and tools are very useful in improving vocabulary in primary school for your kid. So remember to always take help from electronic mediums, play word games with your child, appreciate them when they learn, and keep it fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
What methods are effective for teaching vocabulary to young children?/ What are some great vocabulary development activities for your children?
Here are some effective methods/ways for improving vocabulary in primary school:
- Giving them a moderate amount of words to learn daily; Not too much, not too less.
- Trying to keep it fun
- Using the words among the other family members too
- Using the words in your daily conversations
- Teaching words that are related in context
- Exposing the words to the child frequently
- Encouraging the child
- Praising the child when they learn a new word
- Teaching through displays
- Not simplifying the word too much
What are the best stories/books for children for them to learn vocabulary?
The answer is simple, anything that interests them! As mentioned, interest is a key point in learning. The more excited your child is to read a story/book, the more they will be motivated and eager to learn it, making the learning process quite fruitful when improving vocabulary in primary school.
What are the differences between illustrated books written for adults, but with accessible vocabulary for 8 to 10 years old children, and illustrated books written specifically for children in this age group?
Well, many books written for adults, like “The Velveteen Rabbit” use child-accessible and relatively simple words, but their meanings and morals are profound and metaphorical. They are only understood by adults.
The illustrated books for children in this age group are imaginative AND inspire your child’s mind. They are not complex, and are quite easy for children to grasp. Hence the latter ones are highly recommended.
Should infants and toddlers/children in primary school be exposed to television to develop their vocabulary?
The World Health Organization published recent guidelines about screen times. Children under 1 shouldn’t be exposed to Television. Children upto the age of 5 should have limited exposure to Television. Toddlers can enjoy good quality kids programs for concept developments. For healthy growth, Children should play more and sit less.
What are some good vocabulary mediums for your children?
- Colorful, Powerpoint presentations
- Illustration books, targeted for the audience of the age of toddlers
- Story books
- Word games
What is the optimal age for a child to learn a new language?
The mind is at peak of the ability to learn a new language, up to the age 7 of a person. This is due to the ‘plasticity of the brain’.
This however, in no way, means that a person can’t learn foreign language when they grow up. This research just shows that kids have an advantage at learning language in these foremost years. Hence this period helps in improving vocabulary in primary school.