How often did you write dictations during your school days? In a typical Indian context, learning more words in English was considered an achievement. Back in the day, dictation tests offered a way to teach and learn new words. A person with a good vocabulary tends to read more, understand concepts better and their knowledge sharing capacity would be impressive.
However, today children have access to so many different educational resources. Word games, images, videos on Youtube, and animated videos are available at the click of a button. Read on to find out some easy tips to improve your child’s vocabulary.
Talk to Them
Generally, children love to talk. Try dropping new words in the conversation around the dinner table or during short interactions. Context is a great way to figure out the meanings of new words. Once you tell your kids the definition, encourage them to use these new words when they get the chance.
Try drawing an action word or verb. It is one of the easiest ways to encourage children to understand the meaning and enjoy learning a new term. For example, you can draw a smiley face to teach the word ‘smile’. To go a step further, make a game out of the drawings. Draw the verb and ask your child to guess the word.
As children start learning new words, display those words on a wall in their room. Grouping words that sound the same is one technique you could use. Initially, you could start by showing images. Once they’ve mastered that set, replace them with another set of words. This way, the learning process is fun and doesn’t get too overwhelming.
Watch Educational Videos
Kids these days are addicted to screens. Use this to your advantage! Let them watch, listen to, and read words from their favorite TV shows and YouTube Videos. Animated shows with an educative purpose emphasize that the audience read the words on the screen and understand them by the end of the program. Video subtitles can be a motivator for your kids to read and, in the process, learn new words too.
Use the Dictionary
Begin with a picture dictionary appropriate to their age. Teach them how to use it and make their leisure time exciting with word games. Motivate your children to use the dictionary when they come across a new word they don’t understand. Once they’re comfortable with using the dictionary, give them word goals for a week. Making it a practice can motivate your child to learn 10-15 new words a week.
Use synonyms of a word that your child already knows. Make sure you use them when they are engrossed in a conversation with you. They will be surprised at the number of words that can be interchanged.
Play word games with your child. For example, give your child one long word and ask them to form as many words as they can from it. Some other games you can experiment with are word hunts, crossword puzzles, and scrabble.
Remember to motivate and encourage your children, and appreciate the steps they’re taking to grow their vocabulary.