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March Blog 2023: Vocabulary

March 29, 2023


Reading stories together

March Blog 2023: Vocabulary


Building Vocabulary


Whatever your thoughts on the recent news about the rewriting of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, there can be no doubt he was a master of the use of vocabulary. Rishi Sunak condemned this rewriting by quoting the Big Friendly Giant’s warning not to “Gobblefunk” with words.

What can I do?

Not enough emphasis is put upon teaching vocabulary. Broaden your child’s vocabulary by bringing new words to life. It should be fun. Do the words with them, for example “prowl” around the house, “sneak” up to bed. Invent words together, go out on the beach for a “rompette”, put your “snoggles” on your feet. New words must be a natural part of your day.


Query words: be delighted if they use a new word. Find out the meaning together by using a thesaurus and a dictionary.

Don’t dumb down your language when you talk to a child. Repetition reinforces words.

Everything else you are doing regarding language will also promote it’s development: reading both fiction and non-fiction books, reading aloud, writing, talking, two-way conversations, experiences, and making word collections.


Games can encourage vocabulary development: I spy, and I went to market.


Use synonyms, these are words that have the same meaning, for example instead of clever, introduce bright, brilliant, smart, and wise. Introduce your child to new synonyms by using them yourself. Remember repetition is everything.


Promote Proverbs:


Every culture has their own proverbs, try using some around your child, they will soon start repeating them to you!


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

Honesty is the best policy

Better late than never

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Curiosity killed the cat

Actions speak louder than words

The pen is mightier than the sword

Where there’s a will there’s a way

“All I know is what I have words for”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Reading stories together
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