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Vocabulary? Ignore at your own peril.


"While without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”, David Wilkins, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Reading, England.

Vocabulary is core to all the four areas of communication – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We should help our children develop a strong vocabulary. They should be able to understand others, and express their own ideas and thoughts. If the quality of your speech (vs the quantity) with your infants and toddlers is a good starting point, the next big thing is encouraging them to read more. They should learn to read, and read to learn. While there are many other techniques and approaches to help our children improve their knowledge and understanding of words, let’s look at how ‘Word Map’ could be used effectively by the teachers and even parents.

There are different variations of using the ‘Word Map’ strategy. One can be the four-corner vocabulary chart with the word, its definition, a sentence where the word is used, and a picture of it (if possible) added as shown in the picture below.




The word map technique is useful for helping students develop a general concept of “definition.” In another approach, three questions are used: “What is it?” “What is it like?” and “What are some examples?” The below illustration is a very good example.



While teachers can use the word map techniques by including it in their instructional methods, parents should encourage their children to use them and improve their vocabulary in a different and fun way. They should enjoy doing it. The learning will become more thorough and meaningful.

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