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Ready to Read:  Enriched Vocabulary
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).

Enriched Vocabulary

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 words.

To help develop a strong vocabulary:

bulletTalk 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.
bulletTalk 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.
bulletSpeak in the language that is most comfortable for you.
bulletRead 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.
bulletLearn together by reading nonfiction books. Help your child pick out books about things that he is interested in.
bulletWhen your child talks to you, add more detail to what she says. Expand conversations and ask questions to learn more.
bulletUse encouraging words whenever possible. When a child does something she shouldn’t, suggest a better or right way to do it and avoid negative criticism.
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