Vocabulary development

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What is vocabulary?

o The word vocabulary means all the words of a language and what they mean. A person’s vocabulary consists of all the words they can use and understand.

Why teach vocabulary?

o Vocabulary building is important in developing literacy

o Vocabulary has a direct affect on comprehension

o Children with large vocabularies tend to be strong readers

o A child’s vocabulary can increase by up to 3000 words a year with exposure to new words

What can I do to support my child?

o Have your child read. Reading is the largest source of vocabulary growth. While reading, write down any unknown words. Then take time together to look up the meanings and discuss them.

o When introducing new vocabulary words expose your child to the new word at least 12 times.

o Have your child act out a new word or create a movement to represent that word.

o Discuss the meaning of one new word per week at the dinner table, creating a family dictionary of new words learned.

o Have your child a draw picture of the new vocabulary word.

o Have your child write a sentence using the new vocabulary word.

o While reading have your child pick out one or two unknown words. After reading review the unknown words. Teach your child the unknown vocabulary words by relating them as much as possible to everyday life.

o Look the new word in the dictionary. However, do not limit vocabulary building to this source. Looking up a word in a dictionary is not enough. Expose the child to the word in other ways.