Knowing the names of things, understanding the meaning of words, and connecting words to objects, events, emotions, and concepts in the world.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Children who start school with larger vocabularies have an easier time learning to read, become better readers, and have higher school achievement. A strong vocabulary helps children with decoding (sounding out) and comprehension (understanding).
BUILD THE SKILL:
Talking, reading and singing with children helps develop their language, lets them hear your loving voice, and nurtures your relationship. Babies and tots with parents who talk to them more have bigger vocabularies.
• Talk and sing to your child as you go through the day.
• Read board books and talk about the pictures.
• Speak the language you know best.
• Talk with toddlers as they explore the world.
• Let toddlers turn pages.
• Read short stories, rhymes, and books that your child shows interest in.
• Sing nursery rhymes and songs. This introduces new vocabulary not used in everyday speech.
• Read a few minutes at a time when your child is in the mood. Stop if it’s no longer fun.
• Keep reading when your child is on the move; let them return to the story when they’re ready.
• Read picture books. They have 3x more rare words than our everyday conversations
• Sing! Many songs have words not used in every day conversation, and help with concepts such as opposites, size and shapes.
• Speak to your child in the language that you know best and explain unfamiliar words.
• Follow your child’s interests- Children learn new words best when they learn them in a context, or natural setting. Ride the train, look for bugs in the yard – and read about them in books.