Adjectives, nouns and verbs-do we need to know their names?

I spent years, as a child, finding grammar an extremely difficult concept to grasp.  I knew what a describing word was, I knew what a naming word was and I knew what a doing word was.  The difficulty I had was when I was asked to find the adjective/noun/verb in a sentence.  My mind somehow always went blank.  Linking the names of types of words with their meaning was often a stumbling block for me.  Fortunately, after being shown as well as considering each very carefully, I now feel confident in linking the words with their meanings.

I did have a worry that my children would have the same mental block as I had all those years ago.  I am glad that children are now taught these ‘technical’ words with their meanings at school.  I remember hearing many comments about this being a ‘bad’ thing as the children were ‘too young’ to know these particular words.  The purpose of this was questioned.

I believe that you should use the ‘proper’ names/words for as many concepts as you can.  At the same time, I think you need to re-phrase them in child-friendly talk.  Giving children the chance to hear these more technical words rather than dumbing them down shows the child that you have high expectations of them as well as allowing them access to become more familiar with these for them to use in the future.

My son comes home to tell me that he has added new adjectives in his stories.  I love that he is able to articulate his analysis of the types of words he uses every day in his speech and in his writing.  I am always impressed when he uses such vocabulary.  I am glad that he knows the technical names of these words as well as how to use them.  He does not get confused, like I used to.  I was taught the meanings first then the technical words for them years later.  I believe that being given access to techincal names as well as their meanings at the same time, can only be a good thing.


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