Mastering vocabulary is absolutely fundamental to developing a good understanding of the English language. Students with a wide vocabulary will make a better impression on potential employers and have an advantage over their peers in the corporate world. Teaching vocabulary can be a challenge for teachers because in order to do it effectively it must also be engaging and entertaining to the students. A good education in vocabulary should begin as soon as students start learning to read. The first book that a child ever picks up is the first step to the development of an expanded and vivid vocabulary.
A teacher should decide on a list of words that he or she will focus on as an integral part of the overall curriculum. Vocabulary words should be selected that are age-appropriate. Choosing words that a student is likely to use in everyday conversation, once they understand its proper use and meaning, is a good way to help a child expand their vocabulary. Students can be motivated with rewards and games which encourage them to learn as much as they can. Fun activities like puzzles can also help a child learn while they play. A number of different activities can be centered on vocabulary development.
The teacher should use an expanded vocabulary when delivering lessons to students. Regardless of the subject matter being taught, using new words in place of more common ones is a good way to introduce students to different ways of expressing the same idea. By immersing students in new and unusual words, both the student and the teacher can have fun with their vocabularies. A teacher may even encourage students to write new or interesting words in an area where they can be referred to by other students. A reward may even be given on a periodic basis to the students that introduce the most unique word.
As with most other new skills, repetition is necessary if a student is going to incorporate new words into their everyday vocabulary. This will require a teacher to quiz their students on the vocabulary words presented on a regular basis. Students should be encouraged to use these new words while answering questions or other types of classroom activities. Old vocabulary words should be revisited periodically so that they stay fresh in the minds of students. Memorization is important, but new words will be quickly lost if the student does not use them on a regular basis.