10 Ways to Build a Strong Vocabulary
A strong vocabulary is essential for effective communication and can help your child express their thoughts and ideas more clearly. It can also make your child a more persuasive speaker or writer and increase their confidence in social and professional situations.
Plus, research shows that general vocabulary knowledge is a good predictor of academic
achievement. Studies also show that vocabulary exposure increases with daily reading time. Between kindergarten and Grade 12, students with an average daily reading time of 30+ minutes encounter 13.7 million words in that time frame.
Simply put, the more students read, the more words they know, and the more they see school success.
But how else can you help your child build a more robust vocabulary?
10 Ways to Improve Vocabulary Skills
- Read extensively
- Keep a vocabulary journal
- Use apps
- Play word games
- Watch movies and TV shows
- Listen to podcasts
- Use a dictionary and thesaurus
- Join a book club
- Use flashcards
- Practice, practice, practice!
1. Read Extensively
Reading is the most effective way to build your vocabulary. Read books, magazines, and newspapers that cover a wide range of topics, and pay attention to unfamiliar words. Help your child look up their meanings and try using them in context. In fact, 15 minutes is recognized as the ideal time for students to see positive gains in reading achievement; students who read just over a half-hour to an hour per day see the greatest gains of all.
2. Keep a Vocabulary Journal
Making a vocabulary journal is a great place to collect and interact with words your child hears or sees in their reading. Each page should be dedicated to a singular new word, including its definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. Review the journal regularly together to reinforce your child’s learning.
3. Use Vocabulary Apps
Vocabulary apps are helpful tools for memorizing and expanding your vocabulary. These apps can help build your child’s confidence and increase your standing among your peers. Here are some great vocabulary apps that you can download for your child today:
4. Play Word Games
One of the most effective ways for young children to gain knowledge and develop crucial abilities is through play, so word games make it fun and easy for kids to build a larger vocabulary. Work games such as crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and Boggle are fun and challenging ways to improve vocabulary. They also help you learn new words in context.
5. Watch Movies and TV Shows
Watching movies and TV shows can expose your child to new words and phrases. When watching TV or a movie, have your child pay attention to the dialogue and note any unfamiliar words. When the TV show or movie is done, have your child look up the meanings of the new words and try to use them in context.
6. Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts on a variety of topics can expose your child to new vocabulary. Listen carefully and take note of any unfamiliar words. Look them up and try to use them in your conversations. Check out these Podcasts to expand your vocabulary and knowledge.
- 6 Minute Vocabulary by BBC
- Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day by Merriam-Webster
- The Vocab Man by Daniel Goodson
7. Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus
A good dictionary and thesaurus are essential tools for improving anyone’s vocabulary. When your child hears or is unsure of a new word, get them to look it up in the dictionary and then use a thesaurus to learn its synonyms and antonyms.
8. Join a Book Club
Joining a book club can expose you and your child to new books and authors. You and your child can join a book club together. Many local libraries often have book clubs. You and your child can discuss books with other members at these book clubs and learn from their perspectives.
9. Use Flashcards
Flashcards can be a useful tool for improving vocabulary. Write the word on one side of the flashcard and the definition or a sample sentence on the other side. You can also include a picture to help you remember the word. Review the flashcards regularly, this will help reinforce your child’s learning and ensure that they retain the words long-term.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to building a strong vocabulary is to use it regularly. Try having your child use new words in their conversations, writing, and everyday life. The more that your child uses them, the more they will become a part of their everyday vocabulary.
Building a strong vocabulary requires consistent effort and practice. Reading extensively, keeping a vocabulary journal, playing word games, and watching movies and TV shows are just a few ways to improve your child’s vocabulary. Use a dictionary and thesaurus to look up new words and practice using them in context. Joining a book club and learning a new language can also expand your child’s vocabulary.
Remember, the key to success is practice, practice, practice.
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