Word finding difficulties are when a child has difficulties retrieving a word when they need it.  These tips are ideal for the classroom, but can also be used at home:

  • When you are introducing new vocabulary write the word on the board, repeat the word around five times throughout the lesson and get your child to repeat the word out loud. If you do this your child is more likely to remember the word and find it easier to access in the future.
  • Provide the class with key topic vocabulary prior to starting the topic.  Pre-teaching vocabulary makes it easier for children to access key vocabulary when needed. 
  • Use mind mapping to brainstorm class discussions.  Mind mapping is thought to simulate how words are stored in are brains.  Using this approach will increase the likelihood of children storing vocabulary properly and later retrieving it. 
  • Encourage your pupils to record group discussions/take notes using a mind mapping approach. 
  • Use vocabulary books: when you introduce a new topic word get your pupils to write the word in their vocabulary book with a simple definition of what the word means.  If the word comes up again you can refer them to their books.
  • Use sorting and classifying activities when possible, for example sorting things that are solids, liquids and gases. This helps the pupils understand and retain new vocabulary.
  • Semantic dictionaries: have dictionaries that are organized by categories rather than initial sound, for example you may have a page of different clothes types. 
  • Develop word knowledge through word association skills, for example what is the function, location, parts, category and attributes of the word.