There’s all sorts of great activities out there to help your child learn and remember new words, but often they involve worksheets and sitting down at a table. And this means that we miss out on those opportunities to target vocabulary when we’re out and about! One of my favourite ways to support vocabulary is to pick up on useful words right when they happen – in the middle of a conversation. With a few key strategies you can make the most of those everyday conversations to help your child learn, remember and practice new words. Here’s how:
I picked a simple acronym to help us remember this strategies:
Break it down: Clap out the syllables in the word. And listen out for any smaller words that might be ‘hiding’ inside that new bigger word.
Repeat, repeat, repeat: Children really benefit from repeated models of a new words, especially if you can put it into a variety of sentences. This helps them hear the sounds in the word (phonetics) and listen out for how it fits within sentences (syntax).
Observation homework: Set yourselves the challenge to listen out for this word in books, or on walks. This helps you both focus on it and find more opportunities to practice.
Speaking of books… Here’s some suggestions for sharing books in a way that supports vocabulary development.