Our vocabulary instruction for your child begins with our Pre-reading program at the age when children first become interested in letters and sounds. We use that natural curiosity to teach words orally, through the use of fun little games and activities. We also foster vocabulary development through lots of read-alouds. In fact, our All About Reading Pre-reading program comes with two wonderful books of rhymes that you will use for reading aloud to your child as part of his daily lesson. However, we encourage you to read lots of other books to your child, too, for at least 20 minutes a day.
Most vocabulary is learned indirectly, through listening and speaking. So the more oral language experience children have, the more word meanings they learn—which in turn helps them build their vocabulary, especially when they are young. Oral language experience is a vital part of learning to read, too, because beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words they see in print. And they must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading.
Scientific research on the importance of children listening to adults read to them is so compelling that we continue read-aloud activities through all four levels of our program. Starting in All About Reading Level 1, we also begin to focus on teaching specific vocabulary words in the lessons. Teaching individual words in context not only deepens a student’s knowledge of word meanings, but also teaches them important word-learning strategies.
In the higher levels of our program we add yet another component to our vocabulary training: “morphemic strategies,” meaning we teach children about word parts like prefixes, suffixes, and root words. These word parts give children important clues about the meaning of many words and help them decipher words on their own.
It is proven that children learn best when provided with consistent instruction over an extended period of time. That fact holds true with learning vocabulary, too. Every level of our program includes interactive, direct and indirect vocabulary lessons that offer many different ways for your child to learn new words. Such activities get children excited about expanding their vocabulary, which ultimately helps them become successful readers.