Learning with Labels: 3 Easy Steps to Promote English Acquisition in Your Home One of the major components of learning any language is vocabulary. Communicating, reading, and writing in a foreign language all depend upon a strong, working understanding of words and their meanings. As a former professional educator, I had the privilege of working with many young English Language Learners. A strategy I used to reinforce their understanding of words was to label objects within the classroom. Then, I would make a conscious effort to refer verbally to those objects while interacting and communicating with my English Language Learners. I would also draw their attention to the printed label. By labeling objects and referring to them frequently, my students had the opportunity to associate spoken English to written English. Thus, each and every day their collection and understanding of English words would grow. This effective vocabulary building strategy can be duplicated in your own home in 3 easy steps: Step 1: Choose a Variety of Objects in Your Home You could start with objects in your child’s room or you could choose objects from around the entire house. If your child is old enough, allow them to be involved in the hunt for objects! This will increase their excitement and ownership of the learning. Also, in an effort not to overwhelm your child, try to begin with around 10 objects total. Once your child has learned to successfully identify and name the object in English, you can label some more! Step 2: Use a Multilingual Resource to Create Labels Google Translate is a great resource to use as you create your labels, but any multilingual dictionary you have access to will do! You can make labels out of index cards, Post It notes, or blank stickers. Whatever material you choose, it’s important to make the words large and visible from a distance, while also taking into consideration the eye-level of your child. Again, allow your child to be involved in the creation process! You could even encourage them to draw and color a picture of the object next to the word. Step 3: Refer to the Objects Consistently This is especially true in the beginning! Make an effort every day, multiple times a day, to refer to the labeled objects. Your child needs to hear the words spoken repeatedly before they can successfully identify the object or refer to it by name. To make it exciting, you might want to make it into a game. Send them on a hunt to find the object you call out! Give them opportunities every day to identify the objects when they are named, as well as to say the name of the objects. Labels are a valuable tool for teaching English words in your home!