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How to Develop Vocabulary in Students?

When it comes to expressing ourselves, it is the fluency over our language of expression that makes the major difference whether what we are saying is perfectly put across or not. And so as to interact with maximum precision, it’s quintessential that our vocabulary is strong.  Most of us learn the basic words and expressions of our mother tongue simply by listening to the interaction between our elders and – others in our circle. So, from a tender age unknowingly we start collecting the treasure of words in the chest of our memory.

During our student life we are exposed to better set of words and our vocabulary increases further. Even though, a teacher teaches all the students in the same manner, there are very few who really can recall the right word during communication. And when you fail to construct a proper meaningful sentence due to lack of vocabulary, you lose confidence to speak amongst your friends and social circles. If this problem is not tackled at the right time, then it can continue to overshadow your performance all through your career making you take a back step every time its time to confront any issue publicly or in a group.

That is the reason, why, parents and teachers together should find ways of enhancing the vocabulary of students and encourage them to put in more efforts to learn better words through direct or indirect techniques. Reading and writing are the rudimentary steps which can be followed on regular basis to increase the proficiency of a kid in a particular language.

One of the best ways is making the kids read a particular story or a comprehension and make them rewrite the whole thing in their own words. This way you can evaluate how much they have understood through reading and how effectively they can express their knowledge. Organize regular essay or letter writing sessions to inculcate writing habit in the kids right from young age and make them read their written work in front of everyone to build confidence. Regular writing and reading aloud contribute in enhancing the prowess of a kid in that particular language. During these practice sessions a teacher can clearly analyze the drawbacks of the students including their vocabulary strength and accordingly take decisive steps to help them increase their skills.  Stated below are some techniques teachers can follow these are highly effective and remain with the students as a perpetual habit. They also help in contribution to the overall growth of a child. With personal experience, I would surely recommend these steps to be followed by teachers,

  • Ask the students to read a lesson one by one in the class.
  • Tell the students to underline any word which is new to them.
  • Now, ask the students to find the meaning/ synonym of the words and also its antonym as a home-work and advise them to go through the thesaurus for better understanding of its presentation and placement in the sentences and phrases.
  • The next day ask the students to write sentences using the difficult words,  their two synonyms and antonyms.

This way, the students are introduced to new words. If, during each lesson students find at least five difficult words, their vocabulary can be increased by 25, by the time you end teaching the entire lesson.  You can follow the same technique for teaching/ learning all different languages as well.

However, just increasing word knowledge is not enough. Students should also know how the same word can be used differently depending upon sentences. For example, when you say ‘God blessed me’ (here, blessed is used as a verb), while when you say ‘I am the blessed (ble-ssed) one’ (here, blessed is used as a noun).. For proper diction and pronunciation one should take help of audio CDs and teach the kids the basics of phonetics. Only then   he will be able to speak confidently in the public.

About Hardik Parikh

Hardik Parikh is the Co-founder of PracTutor. PracTutor is a personalized fun way to master Common Core Math and English. All kids – whether they need intervention, accelerated learning or career and college readiness – can achieve their goals within PracTutor.
  • Pablo Baqués

    “when you say ‘I am the blessed (ble-ssed) one’ (here, blessed is used as a noun)…” C’mon, blessed can never be a noun. And your article needs an editor badly.

    • Rubin

      Maybe you could write something better 😉 ?!

  • Rubin

    Thanks Hardik, a very resourceful way to integrate vocabulary building it into students’ daily reading. It’s unfortunate that some people have only negative things to post instead of just taking the positive from what they encounter. I appreciate you taking the time to put yourself out there to help others build their knowledge, by sharing what works for you. If we all had to worry about every single word we wrote, i.e., it being critiqued and shot down, many of us would not dare take the risk to share. Once again, thanks 🙂

  • Rubin – thank you for your kind words, it helps me in researching more and posting more such articles.