How to Extend Learning with a Rich Vocabulary. This is part of a series: How to Extend Learning as Part of Everyday Life Part 14. Effective Teaching Strategies: Using Rich Vocabulary. In this article I am going to teach you how to extend learning as part of everyday life by using a rich vocabulary.
How to Extend Learning as Part of Everyday Life
When it comes to bringing learning into the everyday moments of life, there is a simple three step formula I like to keep in mind. This is called the Powerful Interactions Framework.
The three parts to the formula are 1- be present, 2- connect, and 3- extend learning. This third step includes learning and implementing teaching strategies that build on the knowledge your child already has.
Effective Teaching Strategies: Using Rich Vocabulary
Definition: Using a diverse variety of nouns, adjectives, prepositions, and other forms of language that are new to your child but map onto concepts already understood.
Make explicit attempts to extend your child’s understanding of language by introducing complex and different words to them, and incorporating new and unfamiliar vocabulary when summarizing what your child said.
Remember, your child comes into the world not knowing any words- so words that seem normal to you are novel vocabulary for your child. You do not need to overcomplicate this strategy by trying to teach your child highly sophisticated and intricate words. Some words that might be novel to a preschool age child include: yeast, rise, add, subtract, letter, number, author, cover, cold, hot, skip, etc.
Books are a great resource for learning new words that aren’t used in your everyday life. They provide a natural reason to be talking about new things and they bring the learning back to something your child can understand. For example, “krill” isn’t a word that most people use on a daily basis. But by reading a book about whales, your child is able to learn about what krill are and add that to their vocabulary and knowledge.
How to Extend Learning with a Rich Vocabulary
What this looks like
Vocabulary intertwines with modeling very well. As you use a diverse vocabulary, your child will have the opportunity to learn and incorporate this vocabulary into their own understanding.
To support the modeling that is happening, take the time to expand on new words occasionally. Provide a short and simple description and maybe some examples. If possible, allow your child to explore the word with their other senses. This might look like teaching the word “rise” related to bread making. Then check on your bread that is rising multiple times to watch it grow and talk about what it means to “rise”.
It can also be fun to learn about new things together- meaning new words for both of your vocabularies. Books and shows are great resources for learning vocabulary that is new to both of you.