Reading is harder and slower when you are suffering from dyslexia. So it is understandable that a child may avoid reading or read less. There is perhaps no better way to increase vocabulary than independent reading, something that may cause a child experiencing problems with reading some difficulties.
Yet how a child gathers words may be less important than how many words he gathers. This is good news, since a good vocabulary is something that good thinkers need (good thinkers also need several other things that are not necessarily linked to a large vocabulary such as visual skills). There is often a gap between the reading level and the child’s understanding of ideas, which may cause problems such as finding suitable reading material. Fortunately, other activities apart from reading can be used to increase a child’s vocabulary.
A child suffering from dyslexia can increase his vocabulary by:
- Reading aloud – it is never to late to start reading for your child. Listening to stories increases a child’s vocabulary and helps to promote the development of comprehension skills. It also helps your child to develop a love for reading. Reading aloud also models pronunciation, and oral expressions.
- Recorded books – listening to audiobooks is a fantastic opportunity to increase a child’s vocabulary. Audiobooks are engaging and often read by actors with feeling and expression. A drawback is that your child cannot ask any questions, so develop a habit of talking about the audiobooks.Encourage your child to retell the story to you and help him to explore things that may have been confusing. Look up words that he might not have understood. If he cannot remember the word ask he to tell you to listen to the passage so that you can hear the word.
- Talk and discuss with your child – inviting and including your child in discussions – in the car, family discussions, or at the dinner table – provides him with on opportunity to explain his thoughts and ideas and to listen to new words begin used in a context in a safe and relaxed environment. A child suffering from dyslexia often develop fantastic listening skills and relies on these to solve problems. Providing him with a relaxed atmosphere where he can listen and talk enhances his confidence.
- Draw and illustrate new words – representing a word may sound difficult, yet as long as he understand the drawing it does not have to be complex. Also the more a child practice on drawing and illustrating, the easier it becomes.
- Use drama – acting out new words is a great way to engage the whole body in the vocabulary learning.
- Provide context for the learning – use stories to help him learn new words and enhance his understanding of ideas.