A recent study of 800 secondary school teachers showed that many kids are finishing primary school with a vocabulary below the level expected for their age. It could be not serious; however, this affects their learning when it comes to other subjects. And this negative situation can progress and develop until it becomes a serious matter. As a parent, you can play a crucial role in boosting your child’s vocabulary.
There are several ways to improve the child’s vocabulary – from using a vocab chart template to creating your own notebook with unknown words. You can choose the one that you like the most or try several. Each child is different, and the method that is perfect for one may be not effective for another. So, be attentive to your child’s progress, and you’ll achieve success.
1. Reading more
Encourage your child to read various kinds of books. It can be not only fiction but also non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, etc. While reading, they will encounter new words, and with time, the vocabulary will become richer. You can also read aloud together. It is a nice way to spend time with each other and learn new words. You should always discuss new words and encourage your child to ask questions when they don’t understand something. Try to use new words in your everyday life or repeat them in a couple of days. It is also effective to read the same story in a week and see whether your kid remembers new words.
2. Listening to audiobooks
If your child is a reluctant reader, you can try listening to audiobooks together. It is also a great way to learn new vocabulary. You can find audiobooks on the Internet or in the library. The same approach as with printed books works here. Discuss everything that is unclear, repeat words, and include some practice. In this way, listening will become as effective as reading.
3. Playing word games
Playing with words is not only entertaining but also helpful for building a better vocabulary. There are many different word games that you can play with your kid. For example, you can take turns making up a sentence with a specific word. Or try to think of as many words as possible that start with the same letter. Word Ladder is a great game for developing vocabulary. You can change it the way you want to make it more challenging. Another option is to play Word Association. One person says a word, and the next person has to say a word in association with it. The sequence can continue as long as you want.
4. Make conversation a priority
Conversations are essential for building a better vocabulary. You should make conversation a priority in your family. Talk about what happened during the day, share your thoughts and feelings, ask questions, and listen to what others have to say. It is also helpful to find topics that are interesting for everyone and discuss them. You can even argue constructively if you don’t agree on something. It will also teach your kids how to express their opinions and communicate with others.
5. Use a dictionary and thesaurus
If you want to know the meaning of a word, look it up in the dictionary. If you want to find a word that has a similar meaning, consult a thesaurus. These books can be helpful when it comes to expanding your vocabulary. You can also use an online dictionary and thesaurus.
6. Try new activities
Doing new things is a great way to learn new words. It can be anything from cooking and gardening to hiking and playing sports. When you try new activities, you may encounter new concepts and terms that you need to know. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world around you.
7. Be a role model
As a parent, you should be a role model for your kids. If you want them to have a rich vocabulary, use diverse words yourself. Talk about your day, describe your feelings, and share your thoughts on different topics. You can also read aloud or listen to audiobooks together. In this way, you will not only help your kids develop a better vocabulary but also bond with them.