The Importance of vocabulary in children’s academic careers, especially when they learn to read as beginners, is an essential thing. For instance, if a child who has begun reading, comes across the word ‘sun’ in a book, he/she is very likely to sound it out. It is only after the child realizes how the word sounds, can he/she read that out loudly with confidence.
But, what if children come across a wholly different or new word that in no way is familiar to them? They stop for some time, try to pronounce it with great difficulty, and finally imitate the thing that is told to them by their teachers or parents. And this is exactly why International Schools in Tokyo have a well-structured curriculum that takes care of the vocabulary of toddlers and primary sections.
Vocabulary can be defined as a collection of words that are familiar to a person's native language. A vocabulary, which typically develops with age, is a useful and fundamental tool for communication and also helps manifold in acquiring knowledge.
Coming to the point of vocabulary, there are mainly four kinds of them that exist. They are:
All these vocabularies are arranged in ascending order. This means writing vocabulary is the smallest on the list whereas listening is the highest. And more or less every school across the world including International Schools in Tokyo pays full attention and gives much importance to all of the things stated in the above list.
Tips to Improve a Child’s Vocabulary as advised by International Schools in Tokyo
The first and foremost thing to be done by parents is to motivate children and make sure they don't feel embarrassed about looking up the meaning of strange words, whether they ask for one, find it out from a dictionary, or are trying to identify it with relation to its context. And if they ask, it is best to be enthusiastic enough and find the meaning with them, or take time and make them understand the word and its meaning.
When the question comes to strengthening children’s vocabulary, the more words being introduced would be better. It is very obvious that a beginner learner when encircled by different kinds of words, learns the habit of hearing things, and therefore, would eventually try to implicate them into their daily lives. This is a great method to make children absorb new types of words.
For parents who use new words or synonyms of known words in front of their children, it is a great way to enrich vocabulary! One method is to become a walking thesaurus, substituting synonyms for various words. While synonyms are words that mean the same thing, they are often found to be more easy-to-use and well-descriptive than the original word itself. For instance, when it comes to school-level vocabulary, ‘enormous’ is always a far better choice than just saying ‘big’. That is why every High School in Tokyo gives special attention to students’ vocabulary and has designed curricula to improve them rigorously.
Another very effective way to strengthen children’s vocabulary is to use the same word in different situations. When a new word is placed into a conversation, it is always best to try to use it in a variety of contexts to help the child's understanding of it. For example, if a child happens to learn the word ‘delightful’, they should be to use the word in different case scenarios, so that the child gets the hang of the word, and his/her brain registers it in their subconscious.
A child must encounter a new word more than once before it becomes embedded in his/her memory. Experts generally agree that a child must hear a new word four to twelve times before it is finally registered inside their brain and thus has been truly added to their vocabulary. Whenever a child picks up a new word, try to pronounce it in front of them as many times as possible. Eventually, it will become monotonous, and they will pick it up and never forget it again!
One of the most essential things to practice to enrich vocabulary is reading. And children need to be infused with this habit of reading so that they themselves come across new and different words, and would automatically start using or picking up those quite fast. Numerous studies, unsurprisingly, show that children who read frequently have stronger and a varied vocabulary than those who do not. Also, every High School in Tokyo arranges for separate reading sessions to look for the improvement in the students’ vocabulary.
Numerous board games are present in the market, which help in learning new words in a fun way. One such game is ‘Scrabble’. And even if it is the junior version of Scrabble, it is still very much effective when it comes to children picking up and learning new words. These board games contain stuff like word puzzles, and crosswords. These challenging tasks help children in thinking and building their vocabulary in a fun way.
Thus, these are a few tips that would help to build a strong and varied vocabulary in any child. Also, International Schools in Tokyo have curricula and special programs to improve a child’s vocabulary. Moreover, International Schools usually have a mixed cultural ambiance at school, which indirectly helps a child to learn many new words which would eventually add up to their vocabulary in the long run.