Have you ever seen the movie, ‘My Fair Lady’? Eliza Doolittle comes from poor working stock, and her language reflects her situation. That is until she is recorded and then educated by Professor Henry Higgins. Eventually, the transformation is so great that her entire life changes. The heart of my illustration is that words have power, and how we use, speak and apply them makes a huge difference in life. Behind all this stands a vast repository of words called vocabulary. How does one develop this? By reading and writing, of course. Fruition Tuition assists students of all ages and stages in their English language development.
Vocabulary begins in infancy. Every parent waits for the first words uttered by a child, hoping that their title will be the first. What emerges depends entirely upon the sounds that little one has heard and how well they can control their mouth and tongue muscles. Nonetheless, vocabulary begins with what is heard in infancy. There’s an adage that says, “What a child lives with, that’s how they will be.” It is wise to be intentional about what you speak about in the house, but what a fabulous opportunity to read to children, as they love the human voice. They’ve heard it from the womb and so are likely to respond favourably to familiar voices. The endearing babble that emerges is mimicry and strengthens daily with reinforcement and encouragement. By the time a child reaches pre-school, they will already be speaking clearly and fluently their home language. Multilingual children may not know that they mix languages, so it can be tricky for preschool teachers to untangle. If your child cannot separate English from other languages, then you may consider an assessment with one of our local, friendly and affordable tuition centres.
Reading remains the most effective and efficient means of growing vocabulary. Pronunciation is critical as initial development starts with hearing. American English is different from Australian English, so be aware of this if you use audio or video. Words with pictures begin to associate a sound with a symbol. Imagination games, puzzles and board games build language, maths and relationship skills. Opportunities for reading abound, menus, timetables, departure boards, occupant listings in business and residential buildings, magazines, websites, price lists, and the list goes on. When you visit one of our local centres, you will see a menu of our services.
Reading exposes students to the printed language, seeing the shape of letters and words alongside punctuation. Listening develops phonic awareness, and academic strength requires both. Word attack skills facilitate deciphering unfamiliar words. Students learn syllable recognition, word shapes and familiar phrases. As a child reaches the end of primary school, expect them to read multiple styles of literature and capably spell hundreds of words. If either reading or spelling is problematic, then our experienced, capable and friendly tutors can help.
Spelling matters! Even one misplaced or omitted letter can entirely shift the meaning. ‘Look, cover, write, check’ was the formula my children learnt. I suggest that we add ‘say and listen’ to the mix. When it is time to look at a word, say and listen to it simultaneously, this uses three different pathways at once, increasing the input to the brain and the chance of it forming memory. While the word is covered, a child can silently say it while writing. This technique is paramount for those words that do not sound as they look. Book an assessment for one of our experienced, reliable and knowledgeable English tutors today.