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How are new words learnt?

Children learn new words when they can link them to words or concepts they already know. This is how they learnt their first language and this is how they will learn every other language. The only difference is that subsequent languages are learnt quicker and more easily (that is if the child wants to). The learning of new words, thus, proceeds as follows:

  1. Listening to words
  2. Using not just ears, but ears and eyes. Listening must be accompanied by children seeing the object or the action, or at least a picture of it.
  3. After introducing the first few words, children must listen to whole sentences; even if these are not understood at first. The word must be learned in a sentence-pattern or a phrase-pattern.
  4. After listening, children should speak. Tongue, ears, and eyes are employed. If the new word is connected with an action, children must perform it, or see it performed, at the same time as they speak.

There is no hurry for books (textbooks or any other. The only exceptions are wordless picture books). Words and sentence-patterns are fixed first by listening and then speaking. Reading and writing come later.

 

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