Of the 4 subtests on the 11 plus exam, your child’s 11 plus vocabulary is approx 11-14% of the total 11 plus pass mark, which includes 11 plus English.
Our 11 plus vocabulary tips
Buy a child’s thesaurus
Firstly, in addition to a child’s dictionary, it’s essential that you also buy a child’s thesaurus.
Practice with our 11 plus past papers
Use 11 plus preparation materials;
An excellent example is below:
Sheena Ager (S. L. Ager) is the author of the Vocabulary Novels Trilogy The Cadwaladr Quests (the Welsh spelling of the surname Cadwallader).
These are a series of fun-adventure novels written specifically for the 11+ tests to help children to learn and understand challenging vocabulary.
I supported both my children through the 11+ process. My son was not a reader, and I worried much about his exposure to vocabulary and his comprehension skills. He read only non-fiction. Reading classic works with my son (and daughter) was such hard work that I wrote my first 11+ Vocabulary Novel for him and with him (my children beta read all my books).
We started with sentences, which grew into paragraphs, then chapters and finally a book. We included the 11+ vocabulary we amassed during our years of study with both children. The Cadwaladr Quests are contemporary stories packed with classic vocabulary boasting a built-in dictionary on every page.
How are my vocabulary novels different? The relevant words in the text appear in bold, which then have a corresponding footnote. The definitions are (crucially) in-context and child-friendly, along with their synonyms, antonyms and relevant parts of speech.
Tangled Time, Race for the Gold, and the last part, Cat’s Eye.
The first novel, Tangled Time, was my debut book, and I aimed to pack in the vocabulary. For books two and three, I listened to my readers focusing more on the story and easing off (a little) on the definitions. The first book, Tangled Time, has 3,000 definitions along with hundreds of synonyms and antonyms. Whereas books two and three have only 2,000 definitions along with hundreds of synonyms and antonyms.
The first two novels now have supporting comprehension and creative writing workbooks, the results of a fruitful collaboration with Education Boutique. There is also a standalone verbal skills workbook based on Tangled Time. This multiple-choice workbook was a collaboration with XLEducation, an incredibly popular tuition company based in Reading, Berkshire (where my teenagers attend state grammar schools). We are currently working on another verbal skills workbook based on the second novel, Race for the Gold.
You can learn more at www.slager.co.uk
Listen carefully when your child
- Set regular reading times with your child to encourage your child to love reading.
- This will also model the correct reading style with appropriate intonation.
- Plus, if you klisten carefully you can provide feedback (the most impactful feedback).
- And also, provide an opportunity to immediately ask about any unclear vocab.
Word games exercises
- Go through the alphabet and providing a word for each letter in turns.
- Or use the last letter of the word as the first letter of the word you need to think of.
- Make new sentences of the word to aid understanding how the word can be used.
- Also if the word has multiple meanings it can help your child understand the subtleties of English.
- Weekly spelling tests are excellent way of introducing new vocabulary.
- Choose topics for your children or simply ask them to write about their day.
- Review their work and provide feedback to help them improve.
- Don’t be overly critical about grammar and punctuation.
Daily word exercises using letter magnets…
- …to make new words every day.
- Use your fridge as the wall or a magnetic white board which is visible from the place at which you eat your breakfast.
- The word can then become a topic of conversation and can be used in sentences to help understanding.
- An easy but very effective way to help your child learn new words.