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A Dictionary is an Extra Brain

20 January  2016

Now that my daughter is able to read independently, she has become curious about the meaning of words and English grammar usage.

Normally I’m her de-facto go-to person to find out such things. But I can’t be there 24×7 and I don’t want to deprive her of a chance to learn due to my absence.

Hence comes the dictionary and Google. Initially,  I introduced her to the  pictorial dictionary. This helps her to visualise the words she looks up. Since young children are exposed to tablet gadgets anyway despite my resistance,  I decided to teach her to use Google wisely to discover unknown words or facts.

However,  I realised that pictorial dictionaries do not provide explanations for adverbs, adjectives and abstract  nouns. Hence starting this year, I taught her how to use the Oxford dictionary and the Chinese dictionary using hanyu pinyin.

This is just the initial trial. So parents, if you wish to try this, be beside your child to hand-hold them as they may face difficulty ploughing through a wordy dictionary.  However, Clarice cherished her new-found independence as a “Dictionary Flipper”. Yesterday,  she found the word “experience” in Oxford to use in her composition!

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