Ready to Read:
Here's a short video about enriching a
child's vocabulary, including suggestions on how to share this important
early literacy skill with children. To view, click the PLAY
button on the left (arrow pointing right).
An enriched vocabulary means knowing the names of a variety of things.
This learning starts when we are born - some would even argue it starts
before birth. Research shows that parents that speak to their
children are enriching vocabulary skills in the process.
Parents often seem to naturally speak to children in a singsong,
up-and-down tone, slightly higher in pitch, and at a slower rate than
adult speech. This "parentese" holds a child's attention longer - a
powerful tool to enrich vocabulary by talking to young children.
When children have a relatively large vocabulary compared to their
peers, it is a HUGE advantage when learning to read. Reading
comprehension depends on knowing the meaning of words in a written
passage. When a word is already in a child's vocabulary, the process
of connecting that written word with the spoken word is easier and faster.
Parents who talk to their children throughout the day are giving them a
gift. The language children learn helps them enjoy and understand the
world around them and helps prepare them to become lifelong learners.
Research shows that children with larger vocabularies are better
readers. Knowing many words helps children recognize and understand written
To help develop a strong vocabulary:
Talk to your child, a lot! Research shows that parents who talk to
their children more often have children with larger vocabularies and
those children score higher on IQ tests.
Talk to your child about what is going on around you. Talk about how
things work, feelings and ideas. Listen when your child talks to you.
Speak in the language that is most comfortable for you.
Read to your child every day. Children’s books have more rare words
than the every day conversations people have. Talk about the stories and
the pictures in books.
Learn together by reading nonfiction books. Help your child pick out
books about things that he is interested in.
When your child talks to you, add more detail to what she says.
Expand conversations and ask questions to learn more.
Use encouraging words whenever possible. When a child does something
she shouldn’t, suggest a better or right way to do it and avoid negative