A sound vocabulary bank is necessary for meaningful learning, reading comprehension, and the ability to express ideas accurately and eloquently.
So how can kids learn vocabulary in a meaningful, memorable way?
Education technology has one unique answer.
Online courses and educational games primed for learning can both encourage and motivate learning, while making the process engaging and fun.
Here are 5 ways vocabulary software can teach kids faster!
5 Ways Vocabulary Software Can Teach Kids Faster
1. You Can Learn at Your Own Pace
Not all learners are the same or learn in the same way.
The traditional classroom disregards this, with assignments that everyone receives and has to complete simultaneously.
The system benefits those whose learning styles and strategies are a match for the task at hand.
Often, learners who have not mastered these strategies or fully tapped the potential of their learning styles are at a disadvantage.
When using a gamified learning platform like a vocabulary-learning app or software, learning is entirely personalized.
You progress through the tasks at your pace, without the pressure of a deadline or the fear of falling behind.
This enables a more comfortable, natural learning process, without all the stress – which can end up demotivating you and deterring learning.
In fact, not only are you able to learn at your own pace, vocabulary software like Vocabulary Quest allows you to create your own distinct learning journey.
You can choose and customize your avatar, select tasks or quests you want to take on, and chart your own progress in the form of rewards and progress tracking.
This creates a much deeper level of engagement compared to a standard classroom setting.
Teachers are realistically unable to give the same amount of attention to each student in the interest of keeping the entire class on schedule.
With vocabulary software, however, you receive one-to-one feedback about your performance and choose to learn in the way that best favors you.
2. You Can Track Your Own Progress
Gamified programs that incorporate video-game mechanics into a learning environment include elements like levels, scores, leader boards, and rewards to keep you on track.
This is a neuroscience-backed way to boost motivation!
Kids and adults alike experience the same dopamine boost when playing games.
The initial levels and tasks are typically only mildly challenging and immediately result in rewards.
This creates a sense of accomplishment, with the brain’s reward pathways activating and dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, making you crave that feeling again.
This means that even as rewards grow less frequent and tasks grow more challenging, the promise of the reward motivates you to keep going.
Accomplishing a task or completing a quest again lights up the brain’s reward center, and the dopamine makes you want to keep going to experience more of that feeling.
Using a gamified vocabulary software, you experience the same thing.
Rather than memorizing words without any personal relevance to you because you have to for a grade, the motivation to progress through the game or course helps you to keep learning.
Elements like leader boards and rankings also provide a more tangible overview of your own performance, which can further incentivize you to learn.
This incentive is frequently absent in a classroom setting because of the delay between a test and receiving back your reading scores or essay grade.
Since the feedback is immediate, and the reward system continually serving to maintain your motivation, learning through vocabulary software can be much more engaging, fun, and successful!
3. You Apply What You Learn, Which Improves Memory
Again, reading words off a list repeatedly until you can remember them isn’t the most effective way of learning.
However, when using software that’s continually tracking your progress, you are far more engaged with what you are learning.
Progressing through the course or the game depends on recalling and using the right words in the proper contexts.
This gives them more meaning and relevance.
The program you’re using can tally up data of the words that you tend to make mistakes with or forget, and prompt you with these specifically to build up your memory of them better.
In fact, neuroscientists have established that the act of retrieving information you already stored in your brain helps reinforce the neural pathways involved with your memory of it.
This means every time you encounter the word, and recall its association, your memory of it grows more durable and more permanent.
4. Goals Can Encourage Engagement
Software such as Vocabulary Quest, which gamify learning to incorporate an immersive game-like experience, can further boost engagement and motivation through a compelling narrative.
For example, Vocabulary Quest places you in the fictional world of The Lands of Vocab, which you have to restore order to and free its inhabitants.
In order to do so, the player character, whom you can customize to your tastes, has to undertake quests like defeating mages and capturing monsters.
You do this by mastering and applying the advanced vocabulary you learn along the way and receive rewards like unlocking special powers and new gear.
At the same time, you can see the visual representation of the fictional world you are in gradually being reinvigorated through your efforts.
Thanks to this entertaining, immersive experience, learners feel motivated by meaningful goals, which in turn increases their desire to learn and remember vocabulary naturally.
5. You Can Play Up to Your Unique Learning Style and Develop Others
Visual learners might find it easier to zoom through vocabulary word lists since they are naturally able to create images and associations in their minds, making words and information easier to recall.
Through vocabulary software, visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners can develop more of these visualization skills necessary for better recall but also utilize their own unique learning strengths.
Vocabulary programs often have in-built audio to pronounce and read out words, allowing auditory learners to supplement the words they see on screen with the sounds they’re better able to recall.
Kinesthetic learners benefit by getting to actively engage with an interactive program, consolidating their memory of the word better than merely reading them off the page would be.
Meanwhile, the best vocabulary learning apps and games contain visual elements that learners can grow to associate with the words they are learning.
Neuroscientists have proven how the brain is much better at recalling and processing images than words, so building up this skill improves learners’ learning and recall speed!
Vocabulary software isn’t just fun – the best options contain functionalities specifically created to enable learning in the most effective way possible.
Now that you know the 5 ways vocabulary software can teach kids faster, are you thinking of trying them out yourself or for your kids?
Jason Manilla is the Founder and owner of VocabularyQuest.com.
This site is used by both children and adults around the world.
VocabularyQuest trains learners to master advanced vocabulary through game-based learning.