Oxford University Press SA launches bilingual dictionaries for children struggling with vocabulary

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"Children lack sufficient vocabulary and grammar to make sense of what they read." Photo: Supplied/ Oxford university press.
"Children lack sufficient vocabulary and grammar to make sense of what they read." Photo: Supplied/ Oxford university press.

The CAPS English First additional language for Grade 1-3 clearly states that children are often able to decode in their additional language, but are unable to understand what they read. This results in what some people call 'barking at print'.

This curriculum says that this is the main reason children are unable to comprehend texts, as their language skills are weak. They lack sufficient vocabulary and grammar to make sense of what they read.

It becomes even more complicated when they must learn another language on top of the one they struggle with.

Although many schools are attempting to help in this regard, the lack of vocabulary is an issue.

Read: 'Kaaps deserves respect': Readers react to the development of the Kaaps dictionary

To assist with this problem, Oxford University Press South Africa has launched the brand-new second edition of the hugely popular Oxford First Bilingual Dictionary, now available in English + isiZulu/isiXhosa/Afrikaans/Sesotho sa Leboa/Setswana/Sesotho.

The dictionary has a themed double-page spread that supplies the essential high-frequency vocabulary children need to get comfortable talking in various languages, while the full-colour illustrations offer further opportunities for vocabulary development, story telling and language games.

In collaboration with experienced teachers, language experts have calculated that one needs to know approximately 3000 of the frequently used words in a target language to be able to speak it at a basic level.

What to look out for in this dictionary

The new dictionary specialises in this themed approach to learning, which will build up vocabulary and promote comprehension. It will offer lots of opportunities for children to ask questions, tell and listen to stories, play language games, act out scenarios, and practice conversations.

It will allow for reading and writing activities as the child's vocabulary, comprehension, and grasp of grammar increases.

For children learning an additional language, the bilingual dictionary is best to promote comprehension of the target language vocabulary.

Once your child is proficient in their additional language, they will be ready to transition to a monolingual dictionary.

The dictionary is available at www.oxford.co.za for R149,95. 

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