Building a rich vocabulary is an essential part of a child’s education. It enables kids to better understand what they read, think more critically, and do well in school.
A larger vocabulary also aids their social and emotional development, equipping them with the necessary tools to navigate their emotions and express themselves clearly. It is a good foundation for their achievements both inside and outside of the classroom.
In This Post You'll Learn About...
- The different types of vocabulary
- Quick strategies you can do at home
- Some common mistakes to avoid
Let’s dive in!
Different Types of Vocabulary
We use different types of vocabularies depending on the context and purpose of communicating. Here are some of the most common types:
- Oral vocabulary includes words that we learn and use through everyday conversations. This tends to be more informal. Developing oral language also includes strengthening their listening vocabulary which helps them easily understand the words that they are hearing.
- Writing vocabulary is the set of words that they often learn through reading and studying. This helps them better understand what they read and also express themselves in writing.
- Academic vocabulary is commonly used in formal settings such as schools and research institutes. It may include technical terms, jargon, and complex sentence structures that are not often used in everyday conversations.
It is important to keep these different types in mind so that you can provide a holistic foundation for your kid’s vocabulary skills. This will help them succeed both academically and socially.
Strategies to Help Grow Your Child’s Vocabulary
Here are some strategies you can add to your approach to teaching vocabulary to your child:
1. Keep a vocabulary journal
One of the best ways to build vocabulary is to actively seek out new words and add them to a vocabulary journal. Encourage your child to write down any new words they come across, along with their definitions and an example sentence. This will help them remember the new words and reinforce their understanding of them.
You can also make it a fun activity by challenging your child to find a certain number of new words each week or by having them create their own “word of the day” calendar.
Not only does this activity help reinforce the basics of grammar and language use for students, but it can also encourage them to think more creatively about how those elements are used. With this kind of project, it allows learners to imaginatively explore language in meaningful ways while disciplining themselves in terms of precision and accuracy.
2. Encourage reading
Reading is one of the most effective ways to build vocabulary. Encourage your child to read a wide variety of materials, including books, newspapers, magazines, and online articles.
It not only exposes them to new words but also helps them learn how those words are used in context. They will have a better understanding of how to use these new words in their own conversations and writing.
As they come across new words, encourage them to look up the definitions and write them down in their vocabulary journal. It’s important to choose books that are appropriate for their age and reading level.
3. Incorporate fun games and activities
Word games and activities can be a great way to make building vocabulary fun and engaging for your kid. Some examples include Scrabble, Boggle, and crossword puzzles. You can also create your own word games, such as word searches or “I Spy” games.
To make these games more exciting and challenging, you can add a time limit. For example, you can set a timer for two minutes and challenge your child to find as many words as possible using a particular set of letters. This helps your child learn to work quickly and efficiently while still building their vocabulary.
4. Use online tools to your advantage
Technology can be a valuable tool for building vocabulary. There are many educational apps and digital tools designed to help children learn new words. Some popular options include Vocabulary.com, Quizlet, and Duolingo.
These digital tools can be especially helpful for visual and auditory learners who may struggle with traditional textbook-based learning. With interactive games, videos, and other multimedia resources, children can learn new words in a variety of ways that cater to their unique learning styles.
5. Incorporate vocabulary into your everyday life
Incorporating vocabulary-building into your everyday life can help make it a natural and enjoyable part of your child’s routine. For example, use new words in conversation and encourage your child to do the same. You can also make it a game by challenging your child to use a certain number of new words each day. Additionally, point out new words when you’re out and about, such as on signs or in menus.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Teaching Vocabulary
Overloading with new words at once
One common mistake when teaching vocabulary is overloading children with too many new words at once. This can be overwhelming and make it difficult for them to retain the information. Instead, introduce new words gradually and make sure your child has a strong grasp of one set of words before moving on to the next.
Focusing too much on definitions
While it’s important for your child to know the definitions of new words, it’s equally important for them to understand how the words are used in context. Make sure to provide examples and encourage your child to use the new words in sentences or in conversation.
Not reinforcing learned words regularly
Another mistake is not reinforcing learned words regularly. It’s important to review previously learned words on a regular basis to help your child retain the information. This can be done through activities such as flashcards, quizzes, and games.
Building a larger vocabulary is an essential part of your child’s education and can have a significant impact on their academic and social success. Maximize the resources available for you like free apps, digital tools, games, and free books online. Be creative and have fun with your kid.
Do you need more help with your kid’s language development? Book a free consultation with our Apheleia speech therapists.