One of the most important things you can do when preparing for the 11 Plus exams is to ensure that you are working on your vocabulary. This is because vocabulary is a key component of both verbal and nonverbal reasoning skills. In this post, we will take a look at why vocabulary is so important and give you some tips on how to improve your skills.
1. The importance of vocabulary for the 11 Plus exams
Vocabulary is a key ingredient in both verbal and nonverbal reasoning. For the verbal reasoning section of grammar school selection tests like the Bexley tests and Newstead Wood School’s tests, a good vocabulary will help you to understand the questions and answer them correctly. Strong vocabulary skills will help your child identify the patterns and relationships between words. This, in turn, will help you to solve the questions correctly.
2. Tips for Improving Your Child’s Vocabulary
There are several things that you can do to improve your vocabulary. Here are some suggestions:
- Ensure that your child reads as much as possible. The more your child reads, the more words they will encounter and learn. Try encouraging your child to read various types of texts, such as novels, newspapers, magazines and non-fiction books.
- Help your child to learn new words by teaching them the meaning of root words. A root word is the part of a word that carries the most meaning. For example, the root word ‘dict’ means ‘to say’ or ‘to speak’. By learning the meaning of root words, your child will be able to work out the meaning of new words that contain that root. The Geek School shop has the perfect resource for this!
- Play word games with your child. Word games are a great way to help your child learn new words fun and interactive. Scrabble, Boggle and Countdown are all excellent examples of games that can help to improve your child’s vocabulary.
- Use a dictionary and thesaurus. A dictionary can help your child learn the meaning of new words, while a thesaurus will introduce them to a range of words with similar meanings.
- Encourage your child to keep a journal. Writing daily will not only help to improve your child’s writing skills, but it will also expose them to new words and phrases.
By following these tips, you can help your child to develop strong vocabulary skills that will stand them in good stead for the 11 Plus exams.
3. Practice makes perfect - use flashcards, word puzzles, and crosswords to help you learn new words
One of the best ways to learn new vocabulary is to practice using it in various contexts. Flashcards, word puzzles and crosswords are all excellent tools that help you learn and remember new words. You can find several different resources online or in your local bookshop.
4. Try Not to Force Your Child to Memorise Long Lists of Words
While your child needs to learn new words, it is also important not to try and memorise long lists of words. This is because they are unlikely to remember all the words on the list and may find it difficult to recall them when needed. Instead, focus on learning a few new words each day and ensure your child uses them in conversation and writing.
5. Use a Thesaurus to Find Synonyms for Commonly Used Words
A thesaurus can be a helpful tool if your child finds it difficult to think of new words. A thesaurus is a book that lists words with similar meanings. This can help your child expand their vocabulary by introducing them to a range of words with the same meaning.
6. Help Your Child to Distinguish Between Similar Words
Several words in English have similar meanings but are spelt differently. For example, the words’ they’re’, ‘their’ and ‘there’ have different meanings but are often confused. It is essential for your child to be able to distinguish between these words so that they can use