8 QUICK AND EASY TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR VOCABULARY – By The Story Merchants
Parents these days are overwhelmed with the wealth of information given to them on social media and other portals about how quickly their child must hit specific developmental milestones at specific times. But each child has his or her own time. There aren’t any adult who don’t know how to read or write but there are adults who cannot converse as confidently and have less impressive oratory skills than others. So let’s all form the group of adults who can have an impressive conversation!
And that is only possible by increasing your child's vocabulary and oral fluency. Since vocabulary is the easiest to learn as a young child, and the acquisition of a large vocabulary can help your child succeed in life, one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is an expanded vocabulary. It is also a gift that is inexpensive, does not involve specialized training or expensive curricula, and can be delivered without extraordinary effort. Children receive the knowledge almost unconsciously, without any sense that they are being tutored or forced into hours of practice and tedium. And it is a gift that will keep on giving, year after year, throughout their lives, so honing it at an early age is definitely worth it.
The first five years of a child’s life are the most important in terms of language development, although they continue to develop through the rest of childhood and into adolescence. During the first five years, new nerve cells grow and connect in the brain that enable the child to use language for self-expression . It is therefore important that the child is stimulated during this time, to ensure their progress is not slowed and their communication skills are not affected.
Five easy ways to boost your vocabulary include the following -
- Never speak in baby lingo. Speak to them like they are an adult and talk to them as you would speak to anyone else. You may need to water it down for them, but in the long run, this works extremely well.
- Communication is a priority. Involve your child in all adult aspects of your life. If you are emotional, explain it to him. If you are excited because something great happened that week for you at work, share it with him. This increases their worldview and the more they hear you speak to them, the more they learn. It also helps their social and emotional development because they feel like they know a lot more about your life and are included in everything you do which in turn boosts their confidence as well.
- Read. Reading is the best thing you can do for your child. The more you read, the more they wonder, the more worlds they explore, the more friends they make and the more they find out about different people, cultures, norms, lives, planets and increases their creative and imaginative skills which helps in building vocabulary. If your child is one of those who does not like reading, make stories up and deliver them animatedly. They will be engrossed. Another tip – give your child synonyms while you talk. If you come across the word big – tell them you can also use the word gigantic or enormous. This helps them retain and they are guaranteed to try and use it in their next sentence.
- Board Games and Card games are a great bonding tool – and the more concepts you can explore through these means as a family, the more your child will be exposed to a higher level of vocabulary and the more conversation it is likely to spark.
- Listening to music can also enhance vocabulary. For example, a lot of children love the movie Frozen. There is a popular song in that movie where the words are – “the wind is howling like a swirling storm”. So when you hear such words put together – it has a descriptive value – and you want to teach you child how they can use this phrase and the context in which two things are brought together. Listening to music and repeating the songs helps increase their vocabulary in this manner.
- Pretend Play. This is one of the richest ways of learning what your child already knows about a specific concept and also allowing them to take on that personality and assess and analyze and step into that person’s shoes. They try to use words and phrases they have heard and piece them together in a new context. A parent speaks differently from a doctor who speaks differently from a policeman or a farmer – so they try to emulate what they have learned thus far and construct their sentences and converse accordingly and therefore it helps enhance their vocabulary. So, simply playing Teacher Teacher, Office Office or Doctor Doctor will teach you what your child knows about these people and is your opportunity to give them more information about these people and concepts.
- Going to New Places. Go out and about, explain what you see and hear and this is the best way to start a conversation about the various things in the world.
- Television shows and iPad apps do have a great deal of educational value. Use them sparingly, and identify the ones that work for you and your family. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not watch more than 2 hours a day when they are over the age of 2, so using that as a guideline you can go about using technology to your benefit.
So, hopefully these methods will help increase your child’s vocabulary! Remember that a large vocabulary can help a child have a richer, more varied, and fulfilling life, which is something all parents want for their children. Putting these methods into effect today will pay life-long dividends to your child.