A strong vocabulary is one of the most important tools in any teen’s toolkit. It helps them express themselves, and it helps them understand what other people are saying. It’s also a great way to impress their teachers and show off in front of their friends.
As a parent, to build up your teen’s vocabulary, you need to get them in the habit of reading!
Reading is by far the best way to learn new words because it requires you to think about how they’re used and how they relate to each other. The more often one reads, the better one recognizes these relationships between words.
Reading also exposes new ideas and perspectives on life that might not be available in other media forms like movies or TV shows. When we read about characters in books with different backgrounds or experiences than ours, it helps us empathize with them and see things from their point of view (imagine your teen being able to understand their parent’s perspective on life, wouldn’t that be nice!).
Here are a few interesting ways to increase your teen’s vocabulary.
Word Games For Teens
Yes, playing word games with your teen indeed has the potential to help him or her learn new words in a fun way. Word games help in the following ways:
- Increasing their knowledge about new words.
- Learning how to spell correctly.
- Improving their reading skills and making it easier for them to understand what they read.
Some great word games you can play with your teen as a group activity are Scrabble, Wordle, and Wordscapes.
You can even use a tool like Unscrambled Words that allows you to figure out what words to use based on what letters you have. Thus, allowing you to create exciting word games from the comfort of your home.
Shakespeare and Greek Myths
Instead of letting your teen binge-watch an eight-hour-long season on Netflix, you can help your teen learn advanced words and phrases from high school literature by having them read more challenging texts, such as Shakespeare’s plays or Greek myths.
That’s what we call “killing two birds with one stone,” as your teen will enjoy the story format of this sort of literature (almost the same as Netflix) while you as a parent will get a teen with enhanced vocabulary.
Introduce Your Teen to a Thesaurus For Essay Writing
The more advanced the vocabulary your teen learns, the better they’ll be able to write essays and express themselves in college.
Start encouraging your teen to start using a thesaurus when writing essays (especially if they are prepping for college).
A thesaurus is a book that lists words that have similar meanings. It can help your teen understand the subtleties between words and phrases and give them new options for expressing themselves.
For example, if they are writing an essay about how they feel about their favorite movie, they might be tempted to use “awesome” or “fun” in their sentences. But those words don’t convey exactly how they feel about their favorite movie. Instead, they could use words like “exhilarating” or “thrilling.”
By reading literature and using the thesaurus, your teen will have access to more advanced words and phrases than they would find in newspapers, magazines, or on social media.
These exercises will also help college-bound teens build a strong vocabulary in preparation for the ACT and SAT tests.