Vocabulary Growth

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  • Vocabulary can be seen as a critical variable in child development and school success. Words are the language units by which meanings are communicated; hence, vocabulary acquisition is closely tied to language comprehension and knowledge construction. Vocabulary growth involves a continuous increase in the representation of word meanings and their corresponding word forms. Such growth entails both more words (quantity of representations) and more refined knowledge about word meanings (quality of representations).

    Starting from infancy, children make steady progress in their conceptual development, resulting in a rapid growth of vocabulary. To increase their stock of words, children need to link appropriate meanings to word forms. In the first stage, children use words to refer to a much larger class of objects, acts, or events than adults ...

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