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Importance of Improving Vocabulary Skills in a Student's Academic Achievement

April 12, 2018

/ by

Jeff Hersh


Vocabulary skills are foundational requirements for students to reach high academic achievement. A strong vocabulary allows students to accurately express themselves and better understand concepts across all subject matters. The stronger a student’s vocabulary skills are, the more likely they will succeed.


Students who constantly improve their vocabulary will have better tools to communicate, be able to more quickly understand lessons and grasp concepts, be able to be more acutely persuasive and expressive, and feel more confident in all areas of study. The good news is students can build and improve these skills at every age and learning level.




Students who read will discover new words. It’s that simple. They can read articles, novels, or textbooks. It’s often a natural inclination for budding readers to skip words they are unfamiliar with. Instead, teachers need to show students how to highlight unknown words and look up the meaning. They can use context or picture clues to determine word meanings. This type of reading improves vocabulary while kids read.




Students should keep a running list of new words they discover. This becomes a treasure hunt for vocabulary. Once the words are collected, have students look up the definition and create a sentence showing they understand the word. This should be reviewed daily.




Flash cards are a tried and true method for students to collect and study new words. Write the word on the front of the card with the definition and an example sentence on the back. Students should flip through their cards a few times a day if possible. Frequent exposure to new words and their meanings will help students remember and even start using the words in their daily vocabulary.




Students need to practice their writing skills. Encourage them to use their newest vocabulary words in their writing whenever possible. It’s not just about recognizing the words, but using them correctly. As students begin to assimilate new words into both their speaking and writing vocabularies, they will naturally become of a part of their overall vocabulary.


Strong vocabulary skills are essential for student success. Students can easily improve their vocabulary skills by implementing some of these routines into your classes.


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