Vocabulary Development for Gifted Students

Advanced vocabulary development is essential for students for many reasons. It not only helps them excel at college admissions tests, it also helps them succeed in a wide variety of endeavors. For example:
  • Increasing vocabulary encourages the use of more descriptive words when writing or speaking and enables one to communicate thoughts more clearly.
  • Understanding the meaning of a wide range of words enables better reading comprehension, thus increasing retention.
  • A large vocabulary helps verbal communication flow smoothly and eliminates unnecessary noises such as "umm" and "uhh" when speaking.
  • Using richer and more colorful words projects a more intelligent image.
  • Having the right vocabulary for planning and solving problems helps students maximize their thinking skills.

There are many ways that students can increase their storehouse of words. They can
  • increase their vocabulary significantly by reading widely and actively, noticing and looking up new words as they read. Students should also seek out classics and other books that require them to pay close attention and think deeply about language and ideas.
  • explore fun and relaxing ways to learn new words, such as solving crossword puzzles and playing word games. These activities help students to not only learn new words, but also learn alternative meanings for words.
  • deepen their vocabulary further by studying the meanings of root words, as well as prefixes and suffixes. These devices help students intelligently guess the meanings of words that they do not already know. They also help students gain a broad understanding of language.
  • experiment with the words by using a thesaurus when while writing. Young people will not only learn new words this way, but they will also gain a richer appreciation for choosing the right word in a sentence.
The following websites represent just a few of the online activities that encourage students' vocabulary development:
  • FunBrain: Rooting Out Words has good exercises for students in elementary and middle school.
  • Language Arts Games features a variety of vocabulary games for all ages, ranging from simple games for elementary school students to advanced games and quizzes for high school students who are studying for the SAT and ACT.
  • Number2.com offers free online test preparation, including a vocabulary builder. This website includes practice sessions that adapt to a student's ability level. The website requires students to set up a free account.
  • SuperKids: PSAT and SAT Vocabulary Flashcards and Matching Games allows students to study and learn more than 1,000 words that are frequently found on the PSAT and SAT exams.
  • Word Games From Merriam-Webster has more than a dozen different online word games that students may enjoy.

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