English is one of the most critical subjects in primary school. A firm grasp of the language will benefit your child in school and also in the workplace. A vast vocabulary allows a person to convey what they mean precisely and accurately. This skill will enable the child to have a better understanding of content in school. Here are a few easy ways that you can incorporate into your daily life.
Let Them Tell Stories
Story-telling is an efficient way to strengthen vocabulary. These can be stories about your child’s day or one from their imagination. You can provide question prompts as they narrate the story. If they’re talking about a cruise ship, you can ask them, “did the ship look majestic?” or “was the ship gigantic?” You can also suggest replacement words. When your child says, “the food was yummy!” you can respond with “Yes, the food was delicious!” Telling stories also forces them to retrieve and use words learnt previously. Ask your child to write the story down to improve their writing.
Children learn well through repetition. They absorb something better the more they see or hear it. While it may seem mundane to us, the child is learning something new. In extension to the first point, parents can repeat the words “gigantic” and “majestic” in other contexts as well. For example, a whale is a “majestic” sea creature. It is “gigantic” compared to an insect.
Conversations allow you to introduce new words into their vocabulary. These may be done using the methods as mentioned. You may encourage your child to use sophisticated vocabulary during conversations. For example, when your child says, “this chicken is nice.” You can ask them questions like, “what is a word to describe food that is nice?” or “how do you think the chicken is cooked to make it so delicious?” Peppering these questions into daily conversation will help improve their vocabulary. In turn, this would translate into their written expression.
Encourage Regular Reading and Writing
Studies* indicate that one learns around 20% of their vocabulary through regular reading and writing. Reading is an excellent way to improve a child’s vocabulary. This is because they pick out new words. It also enriches a child to learn grammatically sound sentence structure. This process translates into better writing and comprehension. Writing allows them to practice their newly-learnt words. A dictionary is useful in aiding one with the definition of challenging words. Also, parents should talk to their child on how to use the words they learnt into writing.
Play Word Games
Word games are fun for the whole family! Examples would include Scrabble, Hangman, Boggle and many more. Such games would encourage them to retrieve words from their memory and spell it out. You can also create categories for games like hangman and boggle. An example would be writing a group of words describing animals after a trip to the zoo. Such an activity would repeat the words that they have learnt with active usage. Your kids may also come up with their word games!
Improving your child’s vocabulary does not have to be a tedious chore. Words are everywhere. A fun and early start to learning vocabulary may inspire your child to see the beauty of the language. It also teaches them the necessity of writing concisely.