The best way to understand these words is to read. Books are full of words that are not necessarily common in conversation. But your teen may see them in a textbook, on a test, or in an instruction manual. He will need to know them or know how to quickly figure them out.
Here are some more tips for building vocabulary:
Encourage your teen to read something every day. Ask him to get into the habit of writing down any unfamiliar words he comes across.
Urge him to think about the meanings of parts of words. For example, the word part sub means under or below. Knowing word parts gives clues to the meaning of the entire word.
Ask your teen to share the new words he learns with you. See how many times you can use those words in a day.
Watch a television show on an educational, science or public access channel with your teen. The language used in these tends to more sophisticated than that on mainstream TV.
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