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Vocabulary Tutors, Brooklyn Letters
Vocabulary refers to one’s knowledge of words. It is broken up into oral (speaking), understanding (listening), and print. Vocabulary is crucial for speaking, listening, literacy, and for learning new concepts. In most instances, decreased vocabulary development can limit and interrupt a child’s learning experience. And while it can grow naturally from daily reading and conversations, depending on the sophistication of these interactions, it is just as important to explicitly teach and expand vocabulary knowledge.
A strong vocabulary is crucial to a student’s success in reading and in school for the following reasons:
  • Having a good understanding of words improves one’s comprehension and understanding of what is being read.
  • Words are our primary method of communication, which means that having a wide vocabulary positively impacts all areas of communication (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
  • A robust vocabulary means having good command of words when expressing thoughts and ideas. This in turn boosts their confidence, both in academic and social settings.
A rich vocabulary is the hallmark of a well-rounded student. We are not dictionary-haters, but some students need explicit vocabulary instruction. We want students to become self-reliant so they can actively learn and transfer their vocabulary knowledge to reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Read about Early Childhood Developmental Milestones.


Word-Finding Difficulty

Aside from students with decreased vocabularies compared to peers, some students have what is called word-finding difficulties. These students often have trouble retrieving words more frequently than would be expected despite good comprehension of these words. Problems in word-finding can manifest in single-word retrieval or discourse contexts.

Single-Word Retrieval: This refers to difficulties in accessing specific words like nouns, verbs, adjectives, and numbers. At school, a student with word-finding challenges may have trouble answering questions that need a particular information or specific facts. When trying to access words, a student may be:

  • slow and inaccurate
  • fast but inaccurate
  • slow and accurate

Discourse Retrieval: Trouble with discourse retrieval is characterized by difficulties in conversation and relating experiences and events. When speaking, a student’s speech will often be short or have behaviors associated with word-finding difficulties. These include repetitions, revisions or reformulations, substitutions, insertions, empty words, time fillers, and delays.

Word-finding difficulties are particularly common in students who have:

(Find out more about our stuttering, stammering, and fluency speech therapy.)

How to Help Your Child

We use a variety of effective techniques in our vocabulary and word-finding interventions, with in-depth procedures that involve listening, speaking, and written contexts to help vocabulary development. Learn about The Language Literacy Network– the many language components that unify into skilled reading and writing. The infographic is attached and may be freely shared –unaltered and for non-commercial purposes.

Our strategies include:

  • word-mapping (graphic display of word/concept relationships)
  • word substitution (teach new words related to the word found in the story, etc.)
  • semantic relationships (e.g., how are the words related)
  • discussion of words in a text
  • incorporating techniques students can use independently
  • expanding and deepening student’s knowledge of word meanings
  • acting out meanings
  • focusing on word structure (root words and derivations)
  • reflective pausing
  • imagery and gesture cues
  • mass practice

At Brooklyn Letters, we use explicit teaching methods, such as pre-reviewing difficult words, repeated exposure to vocabulary in a text, and word maps. We also use implicit teaching methods by helping children build their context skills to master more vocabulary.

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There is also a strong correlation between vocabulary and reading comprehension as both skills are necessary for reading success, but depend on each other. Word meanings make up a large part of comprehension, some scholars believe as high as 70 to 80%. In addition, students with large vocabularies do well across all areas of the curriculum and are able to absorb new concepts more easily important skills with the new common core curriculum.

Read about Literacy Milestones.

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Phone: (347) -394-3485

Text: (917) 426-8880

Email: info@brooklynletters.com

Our academic coordinators are ready to help you!