When it comes to young children acquiring a new language, we know that vocabulary will likely play a key role. But how much is “too much”? Does there come a point where we are bombarding children with new terminology simply for the sake of being able to boast that we’ve taught our students lots of words?
Let’s stop for a moment and consider the real goal and objective. We want our young language learners to have the ability to confidently and effectively communicate well with others, right? Once we look at things through that lens, we see more clearly that, in order for our children to meet that goal, it’s a ‘must’ that they truly understand the vocabulary within language expressions; in other words, it’s a ‘must’ that they know what they’re talking about! So rather than building an expansive vocabulary of infrequently used words, we would better serve our students by emphasizing words and phrases that are immediately useful to them. This approach is called a ‘Controlled Vocabulary‘ and happens to be one of the five carefully integrated platforms of GrapeSEED!
As you consider the idea of a controlled vocabulary, think about it as being the rate at which new words are introduced. Simply put, new vocabulary is thoughtfully & intentionally integrated by considering words and expressions that the students need to learn & use most at their current point of learning, while at the same time reinforcing words that they were previously exposed to. This is conquered through a ‘spiral approach’. For example, within the context of GrapeSEED, Unit 1 includes 200 unique words, while each successive unit adds no more than 100 words. This format provides ample time for boys & girls to grasp new, meaningful language expressions while acquiring a more manageable amount of vocabulary words at the same time. With GrapeSEED, vocabulary building comes after the firm foundation of being able to communicate well has been established.
At GrapeSEED, we have found that when age-appropriate, thoughtfully selected vocabulary is strategically integrated into our components, which include songs, stories, action-activities, poems, big books, chants and more, our students achieve maximum language acquisition in minimum time!
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