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Reading is still fundamental
Despite our reliance on the largely visual world of tablet, computer and television screens, a child who is not an enthusiastic reader with a well-developed vocabulary will be at a disadvantage throughout life.
But when parents encourage their child to read, he or she will begin to build vocabulary skills, which will, along with the formal training received in school, lead to his growth as an enthusiastic reader.
You can lay the foundation for your child’s academic success by improving vocabulary starting at a very early age.
A good vocabulary is necessary for academic and social success
Studies have shown that children who develop large vocabularies, ease in reading, and good text comprehension achieve greater academic success throughout their elementary, high school and college years. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that children perceive learning through books more difficult than learning through television and, as a result, must put more effort into book reading.
The good news is that this greater effort ensures a deeper processing of information. In addition, it is known that a child’s vocabulary is not predestined; teachers and parents can have a real impact on learning vocabulary, building good vocabulary skills, and ensuring retention of information.
Visuals to Help Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
Reading storybooks to children is a good way to help them become enthusiastic readers
Storybooks read by parents at home or by teachers in the classroom will aid in learning and improving vocabulary for even the youngest children. The stories are familiar, the words are easy for the children to read and comprehend, and the visuals stimulate word recall.
A Simple 3-Step Strategy Offers Success in Improving Vocabulary
The experiences of teachers and parents have shown that there is a three-step process for how to teach vocabulary using storybooks: read aloud, explain the words, and read the same books more than once.
1 Read Aloud
Storytelling has been a time-honored tradition in many cultures. Today, however, parents and teachers can draw from a wealth of wonderful storybooks for children. You don’t need storytelling skills to help your child build vocabulary—just choose some storybooks that appeal to you and your child and read them aloud.
2 Explain the Words
By making explanation and discussion part of your read aloud time, you will increase, maybe even double, the vocabulary gains of your child. You can select a few new words from the storybook before reading to your child. Talk about these words before and after reading aloud, explaining what they mean, noting how they are spelled, etc. Invite your child to participate in this discussion, for example, by guessing the meanings of these words or telling you how they sound like other words.
3 Read It Again
Be sure to read each storybook again. Young children often have favorite books that they ask for again and again. They find comfort in the familiar. More than that, repeated readings lead to a gradual understanding of plot and story language. The repetition helps children learn to predict patterns in new reading. Repeated reading aids in word recall and improves attention to detail versus simply understanding overall meaning.
Ease in reading leads to reading enthusiasm. Enthusiasm leads to lifelong learning.
When it comes to improving vocabulary, studies have shown that the simple strategies of reading aloud, explaining words, and repeating the reading yield great benefits.
By helping your child develop a strong vocabulary, you enable him to achieve greater academic and social success; you help him realize that life is more interesting with new word acquisition; and you ensure that he will enjoy a lifetime of learning.
Do you have any other helpful tips for boosting your child’s vocabulary? We want to hear your stories, please leave a comment in the box below!