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I want to improve my 10 year olds vocabulary

(28 Posts)
debdobs Wed 20-Jul-11 22:24:20

Hi I have a 10 year old who will soon be doing his 11+ and I want to help him to learn new vocabulary. Obviously he is reading plenty and I have downloaded the Nfer 11+ vocab sheets but the really seem a bit obvious and there were only about ten words that were new to him yet when we do practise papers words like midwife and nurseryman have him confused. Short of going through the dictionary does any one know of an appropriate resource of words that are suitable for his age group. I wish I could find a "learn 10 new words a day for 11 year olds". Any ideas!

sugartongue Wed 20-Jul-11 22:41:39

The way to improve vocab is reading books, pure and simple!

bluerodeo Wed 20-Jul-11 22:42:46

read read and read lots of different books

lawnimp Wed 20-Jul-11 22:44:06

or get him to listen to audio tapes or music or opera

or war of the worlds

seeker Wed 20-Jul-11 22:49:10

Have a review of the TV he watches. You can learn lots of vocabulary painlessly from watching good quality TV.

But I honestly don;t think it's any good working on specific vocabulary for the 11+ - you would be incredibly lucky if the words they need for the exam are the words they learn. The best thing you can teach him is to move on quickly if there's a question with a word he doesn't know and not waste time on it. Guess and move on. It will only amount to a couple of questions out of 50 any way.

NotEnoughTime Thu 21-Jul-11 09:04:55

NET xxxx

MindtheGappp Thu 21-Jul-11 09:06:02


menagerie Thu 21-Jul-11 09:52:07

Free rice is an excellent tool for increasing vocabulary. It has sixty levels, so you can find the appropriate level to stretch him and work on that.

Upgrade what he reads to the next level and get him to ask you if he doesn't understand a word, or to read aloud to you.

worriedtwinmum Tue 26-Jul-11 22:54:03

My husband's twins are 13 but poor readers (level 2a). School says there is no specific reason, they are just slow learners - and came from Africa at the age of 8 with very few experiences to draw on, not a great combination. One challenge is lack of vocabulary, I make them read a lot, but they don't pick up words - if there is something they don't understand they just skip it and don't bother. They forget everything quickly when not relevant to their daily life. And interests are limited to sports. Unfortunately I don't have money to give them a lot of experiences (travel, seeing new things) that would create a need for words. My efforts to them look like a duty they would prefer to substitute for football....Any good ideas?

tabulahrasa Tue 26-Jul-11 23:05:29

Reading, children that read have a much bigger vocabulary.

Rather than trying to learn words get him working on working out what words mean from context clues - it's something a lot of children struggle with and much more transferable.

nickschick Tue 26-Jul-11 23:06:46

Thesaurus' are good to find other words for ones you commonly use.

happygardening Wed 27-Jul-11 11:04:55

I agree with seeker teach him how to cope with words he doesn't know. My 13 year old has recently sat a impossibly difficult latin entrance exam and he was taught how to cope with words he was unable to recognise. The teacher called them drr words, think about the whole passage and then the sentence the word is found in what is it all about, read the sentence leaving out the word you dont know the meaning of and try and make an intelligent guess at what the word might mean. He not only got an A in latin using this technique but also applied it to French a weaker subject for him and English as well and did really well in these subjects too. The other thing he did in preperation for his entrance exams was read The Times everyday; he had to look for articles about the UK, Europe the US, a developing country and an Asian country and one story that either interested him or made him laugh. He then had to tell someone why he choosen them and what they were about. If there was a word he didn't recognise he either looked them up in a dictionary or asked what they meant. He is now a keen newspaper reader and much more informed about world affairs and I do think this helped extended his vocabulary because he encountered words in The Times that he may not have necountered in books.

Smadarama Wed 27-Jul-11 22:31:41

I'm in the same situation. My son is using an app called 11 plus vocabulary. (69p App store). He's picking up quite a few new words each time he uses it. Best of all he doesn't think of it as study. I've been told that word coach on Nintendo DS can be useful too (you can pick it up used for a few pounds on amazon). I figure it can't do any harm and it supplements the general meeting.

I like the suggestions re:working on not getting stuck and how to cope with unknown words.

Smadarama Thu 28-Jul-11 20:56:08

Typo - Reading .. Not 'meeting' ...

pickledsiblings Thu 28-Jul-11 21:01:29

Read to him, it is surprising how many new words get glossed over when they read to themselves.

forehead Thu 28-Jul-11 21:54:41

Thanks to those who recommended, my dd has been using it for the past few days and she loves it. Not only is her vocabulary increasing, but she loves the fact that she can earn ten grains of rice for every question she gets right.

JeyabalaGeorge Tue 24-Feb-15 15:20:59

Clavinova Tue 24-Feb-15 16:29:03

Alas, this is an American 'vocabulary program' (I would say programme) and I've noticed the words 'theater', 'millimeter' and 'catalog' from a quick glance - not UK spellings.

nomorebbq Wed 25-Feb-15 21:42:51

This may sound a bit mad. But what about having subtitles on while watching TV.

mellicauli Thu 26-Feb-15 00:44:44

11+ vocabulary by rose McGowan worth checking out, there are short quizzes focusing on a different area each day (eg names of baby animals, settlements in order of size, antonyms, etc)

I didn't use it myself as I came across it too late. I found reading widely, cutting newspaper articles from the ft weekend and reading together , bond comprehension papers. (A word from the very last bond comprehension we did came up in one exam).

BTW I would ask my son how he knew a word and he would say he learnt it from Minecraft, good game empire, FarmVille or whatever other waste-of-time app he was playing. But never once did he say 11+ vocab app!

mellicauli Thu 26-Feb-15 00:50:45 scrabble..but let him have access to a tablet /computer so he can check words out

iseenodust Thu 26-Feb-15 10:19:10

DS's headteacher always recommends audio books. I chose older books as I read somewhere that books written in the last 25/30 years share a more narrow vocabulary. For example he would have been unlikely to read past page 2 of Treasure Island but enjoyed the audio book. Atticus the story teller is another good one. We recently listened to My Family & Other Animals , and by ridiculously lucky coincidence, a passage from that was the comprehension paper in his yr7 entrance exam.

ragged Fri 27-Feb-15 10:19:18

Calvin & Hobbes cartoon books: yes seriously. They love to read them & full of great vocab.

Miele72 Fri 27-Feb-15 10:24:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhatTheEel Fri 27-Feb-15 10:31:44

Read together... that's what I did with my son when he was 9/10. He was never much of a reader so I would read with him: The Hobbit. Warhorse. Treasure Island.
Read good, solid, well written books... above all, read great stories that will keep you both turning the page. I would read one page, he would read the next. It wasn't easy with other kids and a household to run, but it totally paid off.
He is in secondary now and a total wordsmith! Who knew?!! I sure didn't back in primary school.

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