As a parent, especially a first-time one, the jumbled “gugu gaga” kid talk is all cute, but it doesn’t help your child improve their language skills.
If you want to broaden your child’s vocabulary – both in terms of understanding and regular use – you will need to put a bit more effort into it. You need to understand your child’s age and where they are on in their language journey. This will give you an idea of how best you can help them. Based on that observation, use some of the unique ideas explained in this article to improve your child’s vocabulary.
How can you inprove your child’s vocabulary?
1. Encourage Them to Ask about the Meaning of New Words
Children are curious by nature. And this can sometimes be annoying and prompt parents to ignore or yell at them. However, to help your children with their vocabulary, you need to be calm and answer them when they ask about new things or words. You will see a definite improvement in their speech and vocabulary.
2. Always Use Examples They Can Understand
Examples are a great way to help one understand a concept better; this applies to children just as much as it does to adults When learning new vocabularies with your child, aim to give them examples they can identify with.
It will help them understand word concepts and meanings much faster and make an impression in their memories.
3. Practice Repetition of Words
Hearing a word more than once or twice will make a long-lasting impression on any human mind, more so that of a child. Research shows that a child might require you to repeat a word an average of ten times until they become fully familiar with it. So, once you introduce a new word to them, intentionally repeat it as often as you can.
4. Use Synonyms
If your goal is to improve your child’s vocabulary, then the synonym method could work wonders. This basically involves making your child learn more than one word for the same idea or concept. For instance, you can teach your child to replace the word sleep with nap or doze, and so on. This will enhance their vocabulary and broaden your child’s thinking.
5. Play Word Puzzles
Puzzle games are fun to incorporate new vocabulary into a child’s mind. As you play, allow them to make new words using different letters. Please encourage them to read the words they come up with and guess the meanings.
The best part is you can find puzzles on your phone. Alternatively, you can print puzzles from printable word searches.
6. Have a Word of the Day Rule
Imagine learning a new word daily. That amounts to seven new terms each week. Using this method will not only improve your child’s vocabulary but yours as well.
You can achieve this by using apps where you can play and unlock different vocabulary levels. Such apps have a daily reminder for learning a new word daily.
Remember, too, not to overdo this and allow your child to absorb a new concept at their own pace.
7. Teach Them the Importance of Language as a Way of Expression
The need to express oneself is one of the fundamentals of the language. You can teach them how to express themselves using sad, happy, pain, and sleepy words.
These words will come in handy when they start crying or throwing tantrums. Ensure that they know you cannot help them if you do not understand the reason, and they will have to use their words to express their emotions.
As you teach them the importance of language to express oneself, it is also important to lead by example. If you are annoyed, inform the child that you are irritated and why. Do not forget to emphasize using your words to express your feelings. During this lesson, you can introduce the importance of voice intonation and different tones.
Finally, helping your kids become great communicators is one of the ways you can safeguard your children’s future.
8. Make Use of Pretend Plays
Let your child’s imagination run wild during pretend plays. You can introduce different settings during the plays, which will encourage them to have knowledge of vocabulary for different environments.
For example, you can have your child pretend to be a doctor, while in another, have them pretend to be a teacher. Vocabularies used for each of the two settings are very different, so they will pick up new words.
9. Correct Them When They Get a Word Wrong
It may be cute to hear your child try to say a word and get it wrong. This cuteness will, however, not help them get better at saying it. As a parent, you need to politely correct your child whenever this happens.
If done properly, this will encourage them to follow your correction and ask you how a word is pronounced in the future. On the other hand, shouting at your child will only derail their vocabulary learning process and lower their self-esteem.
10. Be Attentive When They Speak
Paying attention to your child as they speak allows you to take notice of areas of the language they can improve on. It also helps you to catch new words you haven’t heard them use before.
This will help you gauge your child and look for the best course of action to use. You can ask them where they heard some words and if they truly understand their meanings.
11. Reward Them
Please encourage your child to learn more vocabulary by rewarding them whenever they get the words right. It would help if you encourage your kids when they get them wrong. Use candy, favorite snacks, or gifts to congratulate them. Make sure they understand the reasons why they are being rewarded.
Children love to be appreciated and acknowledged, which will enhance their morale to want to do better to improve their vocabulary.
With the current age of technology, the ability to keep track of your child’s vocabulary has been made much easier than before. There are many apps and other technological aids that you can rely upon to improve your child’s vocabulary, given that you follow the tips you just learned.
Moreover, it is important for parents to collaborate with their child’s teacher to ensure their child’s growth in this field. Come up with strategies that reinforce each other.