Language skills is one of the most important aspects of human communications. And this skill is dependent on the vocabulary one develops. According to people, who study and teach languages, to communicate effectively in the English language one requires a basic knowledge of at least 760 words. This is also being fluent in survival English, in order to communicate in an English-speaking nation. While this is the yardstick prescribed for the English language, it varies for other languages. But then, the minimum number of words prescribed is just enough to help one get through communicating needs and a little more.
However, in today’s world of global trade and relations, survival mode in any language is not enough. One should be fluent in at least two-to-three languages – English, mother tongue and any other language, which maybe domestic or international.
How can one build their vocabulary? Continuous communications in the language is the primary step. This does not only entail conversations, but also other aspects such as reading and watching movies in that language. While, these are natural modes of enhancing one’s vocabulary, the shortfall herein is the probability that one may not register every new word they are exposed to.
If this is the case, then the next option is working out a vocabulary building routine. One need not attend any classes, but instead indulge in disciplined self-learning. This is possible if one is on a higher level than just basic survival language skills.
What is this method? This is where the dictionary comes in. This is in fact an essential tool for children. Kids dictionaries have been developed for the various levels of child language development. The basic kids dictionary includes the pictorial ones. These have been created to build a child’s basic vocabulary skills.
The pictorial kids dictionary has pictures that help a child to associate words with objects. For instance, when teaching a child the word apple showing him/her a picture of the fruit will have the child comprehend this new word. Similarly, all basic words are taught effectively with the help of these graphic dictionaries.
As a child grows older the complexity of words to be learnt also increases. So moving away from the basic to the more advanced, the number of pictures decrease and explanations increase. So, with increasing advancement into vocabulary building the child is taught newer words in a more formal and serious manner. He/she is supposed to grasp meanings and learn implementation through explanations and no colourful reference point.
The kids dictionary for advanced vocabulary building are closer to those that adults generally used. The basic difference being in design and number of words. For children till the age of twelve, the dictionary created for them does have an extensive number of words, and the font size is larger than what is used in creating adult dictionaries. Apart from that the explanation for each word is more elaborate and in basic language so that it can be easily comprehended.
Almost every brand of adult dictionaries creates a range of kids dictionaries, for the varied levels as classified by the educationists. As far as availability of kids dictionary is concerned there are a large number of them being published and sold. However, the important factor is how they should be used effectively.
Using the dictionary with kids calls for a skill, as children are not always interested in learning from books. Give them practical learning and they not only learn, but grasp it completely. Therefore, it is vital to make vocabulary learning and building a fun and challenging activity.
The best way to entice a child into using the dictionary on a daily basis is to learn along with the child. Make them feel like you are learning something new along with them. It fills them a sense of pride, enthusiasm and achievement. The activity should be like a game between the child and you. For instance, you could probably pick up upto three new words a day, read the meaning and then create sentences with the words, have a little memory test by the end of the day. And once a week, all the words learnt in that week can be revised again in a play-way method. Maybe you could create flashcards and play a game where you narrate the definition and the child identifies the word.
While publishers take utmost care to come out with glossy, colourful and attractive kids dictionaries, the effective use of them depends on the teachers and parents. Either a child can be encouraged to enjoy language development, or then detest it completely, allowing cobwebs to collect on the book. Dictionary for children.