Imagine vocabulary is stored in your brain like a library, with all the books stored in the right sections.
For some children, their internal word store can be like a library that has no organisation and books are just randomly placed on the shelves and in no order.
Teaching words in category groups, such as food, animals, toys etc.. can help children to create a good and neat word store.
Compare new words with other words that your child already knows. So for example, if you were teaching your child the words ‘hot air balloon’ you might compare it with other transport that goes in the sky, such as plane, rocket and glider.
Give your child context to the word … so for example, when teaching shapes or colours … look out for every day things that will confirm the new words, such as red postbox or square window. Remember to repeat and repeat … children learn through repetition!
Build up semantic information around new words … such as: What do we do with it? Where do we find it? Does it sound like another word? What other describing words go with it? (but be aware not to introduce too many new words at once!).
Use the word in different situations … storybooks, games as well as everyday situations and add to the vocabulary to help you child understand that a word can represent many similar things … eg; big dogs, little dogs, fluffy dogs etc..
Keep checking back that your child has remembered new words. We all forget words if we don’t use them regularly!
Lisa & Tracey