Helping your child develop an extensive vocabulary will ensure they succeed academically and socially. Not only will a large vocabulary help them sail through standardized tests, but it also enables them to speak to their peers and authority figures with confidence. However, this is one skill that is best taught by surrounding your child with multiple types of support. As you plan ways to improve your child’s vocabulary, use these strategies to give them the best chances for success.
Encourage Them to Read Challenging Books
From the moment you open that very first book with your child, you are exposing them to a world full of words. In the early years, many parents offer books that are simple to read so that their new reader does not become frustrated. However, it is also important to provide reading challenges that inspire your child to look up new words. Talk to your child’s teacher and academic tutor about your child’s current reading level. This way, they can guide you to a selection of books that will challenge your child without being overly frustrating.
Use Rich Vocabulary Around Your Child
As a parent, it is important to model desired behaviors, and using rich vocabulary around your child helps them learn how to use new words in their appropriate contexts. Avoid using baby talk or simplifying your language. Instead, speak carefully, and be willing to provide explanations for the meaning of new words when your child asks.
Enroll in Academic Tutoring
Individualized learning experiences are important for helping your child learn new words and how to use them correctly. Academic tutoring provides targeted instruction that is tailored to your child’s abilities. Whether they play a word game with their teacher or practice speaking with a group of their peers, each tutoring lesson will focus on implementing strategies that makes learning new vocabulary words fun and effective for your child.
Create Opportunities to Practice
Simply memorizing a list of vocabulary words will not help your child remember them in casual conversation. For this reason, social opportunities are critical while your child is strengthening their oral language skills. After school programs, such as tutoring and sports, are great ways to extend your child’s language learning beyond the school day. It is also important to stretch their vocabulary through enrichment opportunities such as science clubs and fine arts lessons.
Provide Supportive Feedback
When a child makes attempts to use new words, it is important to acknowledge their successes while providing supportive correction for mistakes. Make it a point to notice when your child uses a word that is new to their vocabulary. If they use a word incorrectly, give them the correct word or help them see how to make it fit the sentence. This helps to reinforce their learning while also building their confidence to take a risk in casual conversations.
Building your child’s vocabulary is a process that begins early in their academic years. Yet, nurturing a love for learning new words pays off as your child begins searching for the meaning of new words they hear. By implementing multiple strategies that support word acquisition into your child’s daily routine, you will be seeing noticeable results in their conversations and knowledge every time you talk about their day.
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