Words, Words, Words: How to help your child with vocabulary

Learning new words is an everyday aspect of the school journey, but some parents may be unsure of how to support their child when expanding their vocabularies, particularly when they seem a little lost and overwhelmed by certain new words. This week, Lauren from North Shore Speech Therapy shows how a simple activity using new vocabulary words can begin to foster a deeper knowledge of word meaning.

Research shows that children with more robust vocabularies perform better academically. When learning new words, it’s important to be confident that your child really understands the word, not just how to say it. In depth word learning involves a number of aspects:

* Knowing how to say the word

* Knowing the word’s meaning

* How the word can be changed to make other words (e.g. “break” can become “unbreakable”)

* Understanding synonyms (words that mean the same thing) and antonyms (words that mean the opposite) for the word

* How to apply that word to different things in their environment (e.g. a “break” can mean relaxation from work, a broken bone, a smashed plate)

* At a higher level, how to read and write the word

Using synonyms (words that have the same meaning) and antonyms (words that have the opposite meaning) is one simple and fabulous way to encourage word learning. The words can be as simple or as complex as they need to be depending on your child’s age, language skills and the subject matter you might be targeting!


For more useful tips and tricks like this, follow North Shore Speech Therapy’s Facebook page or visit their website.


Lauren Reinhardt is a Speech Pathologist and Mother of twins. She grew up on the North and works with her awesome team of Speechies at North Shore Speech Therapy, Neutral Bay, Chatswood and Hornsby As well as supervising other Speech Pathologists, Lauren has presented nationally, co-authored resource books and her team regularly consults for The Department of Education and Independent schools around Sydney. Lauren is passionate about changing lives through helping families improve communication. “Children entering school with more words do better socially, emotionally and academically. Every child deserves to understand and express themselves and every parent deserves to learn how to help their kids achieve this.” - Lauren

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