Words. Words. Words. That’s what brought me into speech and language therapy and why I’ve stayed in it and with it! Our VOCABULARY is changing all the time. My latest new words are probably selfie, selfie stick and photobomb. Snapchat did n’t exist when I was a teen. We adults can hardly keep up with our changing language. Imagine what learning new words must be like for children! We can all think of the 4 year old who discovers their new favourite word “actually” and peppers every sentence with it for a week until they are tired of it! Words said with intensity and at a high volume like curse words are sponged up very quickly by children and they love saying the curse and watching the horrified reaction of the adult. They are quick to fly into preschool and tell the whole class and their teacher about their amazing new word! Some children find it harder to learn new words. We don’t know all the reasons why.
We do know there are lots of tips and strategies we can use to help them absorb and retain these new words.
One simple strategy is REPETITION.
REPETITION. REPETITION. REPETITION.
- Suppose the new word you’d like them to learn is ‘apple’.
- Think about ways you can repeat this word.
- Say it a few times at breakfast or lunch as you offer or slice up an apple.
- Label ‘apple’ every time you see it.
- Repeat the word several times.
- Pause to see if they would like to imitate it. The pause helps them process what they have just heard.
Children love REPETITION. EVERY TIME you repeat the word you are giving them an extra chance to DEEPEN their understanding of the word!. Check out the Hanen approach and their tips on building your child’s vocabulary.
REPETITION helps us all learn new words.
Words. Words. Words.