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Mon, 18 Oct, 2021

Types of Vocabulary and its Different Tiers

Vocabulary for Kids

What is Vocabulary?

Vocabulary is a collection of words and phrases in a language that all of its speakers understand. The person uses these groups of words for effective communication. It forms an integral part of your child’s reading process. Without the presence of vocabulary, your child cannot convey anything.

English vocabulary for kids comprises two major types — active vocabulary and passive vocabulary. An active vocabulary consists of words you understand and use in everyday life while speaking, reading, or writing. A passive vocabulary sums up words you may recognise but do not use in your daily lives.

What are the Different Types of Vocabulary?

The different types of vocabulary are classified based on spoken and written vocabulary, and different vocabularies have different aims. The development of one leads to the development of others.

Before your child writes or reads, he will build his vocabulary through listening and speaking. Below are the four different types of vocabulary you will need to teach kids for effective communication.

1. Reading Vocabulary

A major part of vocabulary building is reading. This vocabulary refers to the words and letters we can recognise while reading texts. Sometimes you can identify words used in reading even when you do not use them in speaking.

2. Speaking Vocabulary

Speaking vocabulary comprises words you use while speaking. It is a very restricted vocabulary where most adults use approximately 5000 to 10000 words for communication. These words are used for giving instructions and having conversations. 

The number of words in this vocabulary is comparatively less than the reading vocabulary, mainly because of the discomfort of speaking a second language.

3. Writing Vocabulary

Your knowledge of spelling heavily influences your writing vocabulary. This is the type of vocabulary that represents the words you have to retain while writing. 

Expressing verbally through facial expressions is easier than expressing through writing. Hence, your writing vocabulary will depend upon your proficiency in the language.

4. Listening Vocabulary

Your listening vocabulary comprises the words you understand through hearing. Even a foetus of sixteen weeks might recognise some words in the womb by perceiving sound. By adulthood, most people can remember almost 50000 words.

Deaf kids do visual listening through sign language, but their vocabulary is far less than kids with listening vocabulary.

Tiers of vocabulary

The English language vocabulary is divided into three tiers. Teaching English to kids becomes relatively easy with these tiers of vocabulary.

1. Basic

The basic vocabulary is your child’s first-tier vocabulary that comprises all the basic and familiar words. These are the English words that your kids use in their everyday conversations. Kids are exposed to the basic vocabulary at a very young age, making them familiar with the words.

The basic vocabulary for kids consists of sight words, adjectives, verbs and nouns. Examples of basic words are: sad, happy, clean, fast, slow, table, baby, rain, clock, phone, walk, sleep, etc.

2. Low Frequency

The low-frequency vocabulary consists of content-specific words and is required only in a particular domain as science, math, geography, social science, technology, etc.

Examples of low-frequency words are: molecule, legislates, osmosis, photosynthesis, isosceles, etc.

3. High Frequency

High-frequency vocabulary comprises words that are not used in your child’s daily conversations and are not learnt naturally. You can find these words in books and written texts. They have multiple meanings and are used mainly in literature.

Examples of high-frequency words are: harmony, valuable, amiable, rare, estimate, synonyms, cluster, consist, etc.

The presence of a wide range of vocabulary helps in your child’s daily communication. Having a thorough knowledge of vocabulary hence is vital. There are different ways to memorise vocabulary if your child is struggling to keep up with the complexities of the language.

Strengthening your child’s vocabulary is a vital necessity, and PlanetSpark ensures your child can grasp the complexities. Enrol now in our English learning modules to help your young learner comprehend vocabulary better.