By Saif Ali
We communicate through language and for better or for worse the language universally chosen is English. To communicate efficiently, one needs to develop certain linguistic skills from a very young age. These linguistic skills can be classified into Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Words which are recognizable by any person while reading fall under the first category. This vocabulary is usually the largest since the number of written words one comes across exceeds the other three sets. When a person is listening to a speech or even hearing people communicating with him or others on a one-to-one basis, the ability to understand words and grasp these verbal exchanges around him would fall under the second skill set. Such comprehension of words is not dependent on cues such as gestures, tones, or pitch. Since speech is spontaneous in nature, the possibility that words would be misused does exist though it may not be intentional and very inconspicuous. This is compensated by the tone of the voice and the expressions on the face. As we now discuss the written form of words, it is important to remember that from feeds on the social media to formal essays, writers are quite particular about constructing sentences and avoid using technical vocabulary.
Vocabulary is a set of words which one is familiar with within any language. A vocabulary is fundamental and useful for the acquisition of knowledge as well as for communication. Developing a good vocabulary takes a considerable amount of time. Though a person’s vocabulary would include all the words known to him, there are several other aspects too as far as knowledge of linguistics is concerned. The range of one’s abilities within his language comprehension and productive competency can vary from novice levels of linguistic and grammatical knowledge to absolute command over the definitions and uses of words. The ways in which words can be defined are several. There are even differences between the sizes of vocabularies based on the number of words which are currently in use.
Importance of Command over Language
While having an extensive knowledge of words aids communication and expression, a person’s reading and subsequently comprehending is directly linked to the extent of one’s vocabulary too. A person’s thinking vocabulary and linguistic skill set are one and the same. Since words can be defined as the currency for communication, a robust knowledge of them improves all the four methods used in linguistics i.e. reading, listening, speaking and writing. Those adolescents and children who work upon their vocabulary have much better chances of not only becoming competent and excelling in academics, but even building up on their social confidence levels. The stronger the hold one has over words, the more clarity is gained. It helps with not only coming up with fresh ideas but also with conveying them across to the world. Being equipped with the power of words also makes one persuasive. It creates in any person the desire to probe deeper into what may be unknown to him and to subsequently come out from the darkness of ignorance and into the glowing light full of abundant knowledge.
Non-Conventional Methods of Language Skills Development
The process of learning languages need not necessarily be conservative. In today’s modern times when the overall approach towards teaching and education is being remodelled and reworked keeping in mind fresh perspectives, there are various methods to combine linguistic enrichment with recreation and enjoyment. While Scrabble is the most popular board game which most people are familiar with, Upwords is another one involving the building of words by players using letter tiles over a gridded game board. Then there is Acronymble, involving the creation of funny acronyms, also called Noodles, from sequences of random letters. Pictionary makes the players draw pictures to guess the word. There are digital games on the internet too. Besides online Scrabble, some other notable ones include Wordshake and ABCya Make Word Search Puzzle. While in the former words are made from letter grids, the latter involves creating one’s own word puzzles.
It is scientifically proven that up to the age of two years, one’s brain develops at its fastest and the receptive abilities remain at their highest. According to researchers, the production of more than one million neurons takes place every second till the age of three years. So, the sooner parents start depositing into the knowledge banks of their toddlers, the higher the level of competency they will achieve later in whatever skill is being taught to them. Quite a radical change has been witnessed in people’s parenting philosophies in today’s era of digital invasion. The pre-schooling industry has achieved its steep northward climb with rising demands from educated and aware parents looking out to constructively occupy their toddlers.
I would like to end here on a motivating note:
Strive much harder to become better than the best,
Stop brooding and put all your worries of failure to rest,
Even if this time you were not able to reach the crest,
You are quite young now and have to pass in life many a test