English plays an important role in our lives as it is the main language that many of us communicate with. Learning vocabulary is an important component of being proficient and having a strong foundation in the English language.
Why is it important to learn vocabulary?
It is important to have a rich vocabulary. Having a sufficient understanding of words and knowledge of when to use them will enable your child to express their own ideas in a coherent manner. Having a comprehensive vocabulary bank helps your child to understand what other people are saying and what they are reading. When there are many unfamiliar words, it prevents them from completely understanding and interpreting the meaning behind what they have just read. Having good vocabulary is also an important component in doing well in school, in particular English components such as composition writing and comprehension.
Difficulties of learning vocabulary?
Often, a child’s ability to learn vocabulary is hampered by insufficient exposure to new words. Learning English in school is insufficient as to be competent in the use and understanding of vocabulary, constant exposure is needed. Thus as parents, there is a responsibility for you to further expose your child to more vocabulary at home.
Ways to improve vocabulary
#1: Thematic learning of vocabulary
The amount of vocabulary to learn is exceedingly large. Therefore as the parent of a child who just started primary school, you might be at a loss of what vocabulary to teach them. A good way to teach vocabulary would be to do so according to themes. You can take reference from our learning videos. Our learning videos were created according to different themes such as people, places and behaviour. Each learning video will help your child explore new vocabulary related to a particular theme and examples of how to use these new words will be provided.
#2: Read more
Reading is a fun way for your child to be exposed to new vocabulary. When selecting books for your child to read, you can refer to booklist recommendations by the school. Alternatively, you can explore a genre of your child’s interest such as fantasy, history and thriller. Constant exposure to new vocabulary and how to use them will help your child to remember and be able to apply these new words. Alternatively, your child can explore the various story videos which we have. Each story video has a theme which will bring up many theme-related vocabulary. Our stories are written based on themes that are relatable to them, therefore the words learnt will be easily applicable in their daily lives.
#3: Practise writing
Encourage your child to get into the habit of writing. They can start with simple sentences to make sure that they are able to convey ideas clearly. Then, encourage them to add in new vocabulary into their writing.
#4: Speak proper English
The best way to learn English is to use it often in daily settings. You can converse with your child in English. Actively remind them to speak English and correct any errors. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, so be patient when speaking to your child. Over time, your child will become more aware of the right way to use the language and strengthen their vocabulary. You can also encourage your child to watch our vocabulary videos on WhyLearn. They can then practise using these new vocabulary in their daily lives. They can also follow the contents of the video and record themselves, then playing back to check if they have spoken it correctly.
Overall, learning vocabulary is a lifelong process. The tips that we have shared are practices which can be done effortlessly and easily integrated into your daily lives. Using these ways to encourage your child to learn new vocabulary will be beneficial in building up strong fundamentals in English.