A good vocabulary is one of the most important aspects of effective communication as it helps you to choose words that convey your thoughts clearly and meaningfully. It’s wonderful to see children evolve from having a vocabulary consisting of a few essential words to start making whole sentences and eventually learn hundreds of new words every year. While the home environment plays an important role in language learning in the first few years of a child’s life, in the later years it’s the school’s responsibility to make the process interesting and fun while still achieving the desired results.
Targeted Vocabulary Teaching
Schools need to make vocabulary teaching a part of the curriculum. This ensures the allocation of time and resources to this key aspect of language learning. The question of course is how to pick the right words to teach. Research in the field suggests that depending on the age group, it makes sense to start with the words of everyday speech and move on to subject or topic-specific words that the student is likely to come across in the classroom.
Using Innovative Teaching Methods
Students learn best when they are involved in the learning process. Getting students to build a word wall and contribute new words to it for discussion in class, semantic mapping of words where students identify related words and map them on the board, etc. can make the sessions interactive and fun.
Encouraging Conscious Reading
Encouraging children to read on a regular basis ensures exposure to new words. However, just reading a book is not enough, it’s important to stress on conscious reading. Developing awareness and curiosity about new words should be the goal of an effective vocabulary learning class. Having reading sessions in class with age-appropriate books followed by a lively discussion on new words can go a long way in inculcating a habit of conscious reading.
Vocabulary learning is a lifelong process. Having said that, schools can play a major role in the formative years of one’s life in laying the foundation for good communication skills.