Building word consciousness

Building word consciousness

Developing word consciousness empowers young readers to tackle increasingly difficult texts with confidence, and actually enjoy them. 

Actively engaging with content, and doing so across various contexts, is proven to be particularly effective for vocabulary learning because it builds word consciousness.[1] 

Word consciousness is what emerges when children are given rich enough information that helps them to understand the meaning of words deeply and accurately.[2] 

Word consciousness is an awareness of how language works and how to interact with it. It helps children use the new words they acquire successfully. It also increases the chances of children inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words by themselves.[2]

  • For example, by discovering and interacting with more and more words, kids will come to realise things about words such as:
      • that a sandcastle is a castle made of sand 
      • that the suffix -less in reckless and harmless means without
      • that the difference between tired and exhausted is one of degree

The more words kids are taught, the more they are capable of learning by themselves. Mrs Wordsmith resources curate words into thematically relevant groups and push learners to make meaningful connections between the words they encounter. Check out our new app!


  1. Loftus-Rattan, S., Mitchell, A. (2016). ‘Direct Vocabulary Instruction in Preschool: A Comparison of Extended Instruction, Embedded Instruction, and Incidental Exposure’. The Elementary School Journal, 116(3) 391-410.
  2. Coyne, M., McCoach, B., Loftus, S., Zipoli Jr., R., Ruby, M., Crevecoeur, Y., & Kapp, S. (2010) Direct and Extended Vocabulary Instruction in Kindergarten: Investigating Transfer Effects. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness 3(2), 93-120. 

🎉 The coupon code [couponcode] has been added to your basket!! 🎉

Free shipping on orders over £30 - includes all bundles!

Want to be the first to hear about our new Epic Word Adventure app?

Sign up to our mailing list to get notified when our new Epic Word Adventure app is available to download, and all our latest updates on products, research, free resources, and much more. Enter your email address below and join the Mrs Wordsmith community now!