Using flash cards to increase your child’s English vocabulary!

2018.04.10

The larger one’s vocabulary in a language is the easier it is for them to
communicate their feelings to others. This makes having a large vocabulary very
important for those learning a new language. Once children get older they can learn
new vocabulary by using a notebook, however, for younger children flash cards with
pictures and English and Japanese are more effective. In this article, we will
introduce how to use flash cards to remember new vocabulary.

Why is using English vocabulary cards effective?

Many parents remember how difficult it was for them to remember new English
vocabulary when they were young. One reason Japanese people have difficulty
remembering English vocabulary is because they translate the words into Japanese
first. For example book means “hon”. However, words should be linked to an image.
When a Japanese person sees a book lying alone, they immediately think “hon” and
English speaking people immediately think “book”. To increase one’s English
vocabulary it is essential for students to link the image directly to its English
word rather than linking the image to a Japanese word first.

Using vocabulary cards with photos or illustrations is an effective way to learn how to link the image directly to the vocabulary word. The more one reviews the cards the
easier it will be for them to link the illustration to its English word.

Using these cards in quizzes and/or card games like karuta will make learning new
vocabulary fun for younger students. In English-speaking countries they often use
special dictionaries with illustrations called “pictionaries” to teach new words
to younger children.

How to create effective vocabulary cards

You can use store-bought cards but it is more fun and often effective to make your own cards with your child. This will allow them to choose their own words and have fun
drawing and writing the words on their own. One set of cards should have illustrations
and English words and another set of cards should have the Japanese words. Playing
games with the cards will make learning fun and exciting. When trying to incorporate
the pronunciation make sure to not use Katakana English but the pronunciation that is
closest to the real English word.

How to use English vocabulary cards to remember new words

If we do not use the words we learned we will forget them. It is important to use the
cards on a daily basis and repeat the pronunciation of the words until your child can
say them on his/her own. After going through the cards, it is a good idea to play
some games or make a quiz. When they do well make sure to praise them with phrases
like “good job” or “very good”.

Using some of the cards to make a story is another way to get your child interested
in learning new vocabulary. Putting the words into context will help them remember
the words longer and learn how to use them in sentences. Repetition is an effective
way to prevent them from forgetting the words they have learned.

Vocabulary cards with illustrations are a great way to help younger students link the
word to the object (illustration). Creating your own cards helps younger children
become interested in learning so we recommend taking the time to create your own
cards instead of buying them.

Learning English from a young age is important for creating a love of English and
learning that will last tbroughout their lives. Make sure to start with easy words
(such as animals and verbs) and keep learning fun through the use of games. This
will create an important foundation for English learning for your child to grow
on,

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