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 Post subject: Vocabulary problems
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:38 pm
Posts: 9
Hello everyone,

Me and my husband are DIYing my daughters eleven plus exam preparation and she's currently in Year 5. Although we have gone through the process once with my eldest who is currently in Kendrick, the DD in question is a more different and is struggling to retain vocabulary. We have tried reading books/listening to audio books that she likes and books recommended by the forum because that is one of the best ways to learn vocab (it is not as tedious as going through flashcards!) but we had no luck with the reading because she is not an avid reader. A lot of our family friends who are using tuition for preparation and have been saying the tutors are giving their children 100 words to learn a week! I'm not sure if this is just a fake rumour or reality, so if anyone can confirm whether this is a realistic target set by tutors that would be great! If so, are there any memory techniques that you use with your child that we can try out? Any help would be much appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Vocabulary problems
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 8373
Location: Herts
It is not memory, it is understanding.

The best way to introduce new words is to encounter them while reading and understand them in context and then start to use them in daily vocabulary.

I know there are tutors who give their students lists of words to learn and I find that very sad.

In my opinion it is actually using the words not memorising them that is the key. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Vocabulary problems
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am
Posts: 1353
I agree with DG. Trying to memorise words is really not a productive way of learning. 100 words a week? - yeah, right. :!: What is the point of 'learning' a word if you are incapable of using it in your writing or unable to understand it in a different context? Plus there are nuances of meaning which you simply will not grasp through flashcards. Learning vocab dry is what you do when you are teaching yourself a foreign language.

Reading is the key. You need to persevere and try and find something she enjoys which should lead to other things. There is a massive world of books and literature out there. There are more resources than ever before available to children (as well as adults). The best memory in the world will really not help your child write in an engaging and expansive way for her composition.


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 Post subject: Re: Vocabulary problems
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 590
Play Scrabble. Encourage reading where the stories are fun as well as introducing new words (Chris Ridell, Frances Hardinge, Louis Sachar, Scott Westerfield)
Get audiobooks for the car (Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, Tolkien’s The Hobbit)
Do newspaper “quick” crosswords (eg Evening Standard level)

There are lots of ways to encourage vocabulary. Word lists are boring and the words fall out again if not actively used.


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 Post subject: Re: Vocabulary problems
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 590
Oh and if other family members are up for this you can play “weird word of the week”; get a whiteboard and each person looks out for an unusual word in the stuff you read, write it on the whiteboard and everyone else has to guess the meaning and then you vote for which word wins!

And if you think they are mature enough show them the Blackadder III episode “Dictionary” for an explanation of how words are constantly changing.
“I shall return.....Interfrastically....”


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