Step 6 Vocab Building

Vocabulary is the foundation of comprehension. Yet, vocab building is not that straightforward. For example, I can read Spanish because the language is highly phonetic. But I don’t understand what I’m reading because I don’t know many Spanish words. The purpose of reading is comprehension – no vocabulary, no comprehension. Vocabulary follows a path first the word is unknown, then it is known but not used and finally it is used. Reading only needs receptive vocabulary (known words) to connect the printed word with its meaning. But writing requires word use. 

How do you make the trip from unknown word to a word you use appropriately? It helps if parents talk to their kids in adult language. It also helps if the child is reading books with varied vocabulary. Still many college bound kids focus on vocabulary building courses or books.

If your goal is for your child to get a good job so that he or she can take care of you in your old age then you should know that the SATs test both reading and writing so you need to grow your child’s expressive (used) vocabulary. The most natural way to grow your vocabulary is to read. When you come upon a new word look its meaning up, write it down in a journal and then add it when talking. Because many of our multi-syllabic words are either from Greek or Latin learning the meaning of those root words help tremendously. 

With all this said I prefer to make it fun https://www.vocabulary.com/ is helpful. https://www.wordplays.com/ gives more variety and the new words you create have definitions. Couple these games with Sadlier Schools Greek and Latin roots and you can grow you child’s vocabulary in a more organized, yet fun way. Or you can wait for Words & Monsters by Lexxica.co.jp which is coming out soon.

Now you have the tools for the last step Comprehension.

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