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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Language and the Eleven Plus

It must be very difficult for a bright and able child to do well in the Eleven Plus examinations if there is a problem with language skills.

Parents have to be able to communicate with their children regarding thoughts and ideas as well as life in general, their behaviour, relationships and general daily occurrences. This broad tapestry involves language and communication. In addition to this parents have to supply specific help with Eleven Plus work.

Teachers or tutors need to be able to teach specialised Eleven Plus topics, much of this enrichment and extension work demands a high level of language skills.

Working through Eleven Plus papers must be demanding and frustrating to the bright child with poor language skills.

Try teaching your Eleven Plus child a new and different type of non verbal reasoning exercise – without the use of words. In other words conduct the lesson with no verbal clues. You would also need to avoid grunts and groans.

Developing a series of simple lists can help some parents to assist their child with acquiring language skills.

There was once an old fashioned way of teaching vocabulary – this is the list of ten words in a little book. The words have to be checked in a dictionary, learnt and then applied in a sentence. Boring, boring!

Parents can make lists for themselves. Develop a selection of alternative words and phrases that you could use in everyday life with your child.

The problem is that making lists of rules and key words may not be the quickest and most effective method of helping a child. Progress will be through a combination of encouraging reading, engaging your child in stimulating conversation, supporting work done at school and at home, being realistic about expectations – as well as trying to develop language skills.

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