How to Teach Meaning of English Words to the early Child
On the blog we have already covered the subject of learning English vocabulary several times, namely how to remember words naturally and what are the most used words in the English language.
Even with this information, you still can`t recognizes words that you have already studied: why? Today we would like to tell you how to learn English words for good.
To know a word is to know it in all its forms, to know how to pronounce it well, to be able to recognize it orally and to be able to use it in the right context.
It`s not as easy a task as you might think and if you don`t have the right method, you won`t get results, which is discouraging.
We then offer you a checklist of all the essential aspects of learning vocabulary, a guide to learning words in English!
The following are some devices to teach the meaning of new words:
1. Material demonstration: The child learns the meaning of a word very easily if it is associated with object for which it stands.
The teacher shows to the students various classroom objects like table, chair, bench, book, bag, etc. as he names these objects.
The teacher may take a few objects to the class, e.g. flower, leaves, some fruits, etc. he may take models of certain things.
Even the quantities can be demonstrated, e.g. a long ribbon, a short ribbon: a big book, a small book, etc.
2. Picture association: Child will learn the meanings easily if they are shown the relevant pictures.
Some picture charts of fruits, vegetables, birds, etc. are available and the teacher may show the same to the children.
An enterprising teacher may draw certain matchstick figures on the writing board, e.g. a hut, a tree, a boy climbing up the stairs, etc.
3. Words through actions: Action words, that is, verbs can be taught by performing actions, e.g. walking, running, writing, sitting, etc.
4. Use in context: One of the best ways of explaining the meaning of a word is to use it is an appropriate context, etc.
a) Afford: He is a poor man. He earns only Rs.500 per day. He can`t afford to buy a motor bike.
b) Late: The school opened at 8 o`clock. Rashid reached the school at half past eight. So he was late.
5. Word associations: Meaning of new words may be taught by associating the new words with the words already known to the children, e.g.
a) Telling synonyms such a correct, right, accurate, exact, etc.
b) Telling antonyms such as right, wrong, coward, brave. etc.
6. Definition & Explanations: In senior classes when the students have got sufficient defining vocabulary, meanings of words may be explained in English itself. E.g.
a) Errand = short journey to take or get something, etc.
b) Essence = that which makes a thing what it is; the inner.
7. Knowledge of prefixes & Suffixes: children should be given knowledge of prefixes and suffixes. This will help them in enriching their vocabulary.
For example, of a student knows that ‘ir’ is a negative prefix, and he knows the meaning of regular: he can as well understand the meaning of ‘irregular’.
If a student knows that the suffix ‘ness’ indicates a noun and he knows the meaning of kind, he will find no difficulty in knowing the meaning of ‘kindness’.
8. Mother tongue equivalents: if the teacher finds that it is economical to tell the meaning of a word in the mother-tongue, he should not hesitate to do so.
For the word ‘hesitate’ itself, the teacher should give the mother-tongue equivalents. Meanings of abstract nouns like joy, contentment, greed, etc. may be given in the mother-tongue.