Having a wide range of vocabulary allows your child to express their thoughts well and communicate fluently. With a generous “word bank” to draw upon, they can easily find the right choice of words when they speak and write.
Beyond learning in school and reading widely, here are some simple ways you can help grow your child’s “word bank”.
1. Play fun games involving words
Word puzzles and other word-forming games (E.g. Scrabble and Wordle) can help your child pick up new words in a fun manner. For example, when you use a word they have never seen before, this can pique their curiosity, and they may want to know its meaning (and remember it to win the game next time!).
2. Turn on the subtitles
Watching English shows or cartoons with English subtitles allows your child to not just hear how the words are pronounced but also see how they are spelt. If they come across a word they have never heard before, they can take note of the word’s spelling in the subtitles and look it up later.
3. Cultivate the habit of using the dictionary
While it might seem easier to give an answer straight to your child, it would be more beneficial for them if you teach them “how to fish”. The next time your child comes across a new word in books or the newspaper, instead of telling them the meaning, guide them to look it up in the dictionary if they are able to use it.
To cultivate this habit, have a dictionary at home or point them to reputable online dictionaries (e.g. by major publishing houses like Cambridge, Longman, and Oxford). Do remember to praise your child when you see them look up a new word!
Still, one of the best ways to pick up new words is by reading. By seeing the usage of words in context, the reader can also gain a more accurate understanding of their meanings. For tips to encourage your child to develop a reading habit, you may check out this article.
At TWC, we power up our Writing Enrichment students’ repertoire of vocabulary with 10 new words each week. The curriculum is designed to ensure that they not only understand the meaning of these new words, but are also able to apply them in their writing. To find out more about our programmes, please feel free to speak with your preferred centre.