Introduction to Function of Words By Morenike Taiwo

By Morenike Taiwo

In the last edition, our interaction bothered on introducing a child to developing conversation skills through story telling and conversation; this week, we are going ahead to have them introduced to Function of Words (FOW).

Function of Word presentations make the child aware of the functions of each word in a phrase.

They help the child to form simple sentences in an orderly and logical manner. The child can have knowledge of the actual and specific thing that he is requested to do or an action he must perform. 

Introducing the function of words to the child starts with the family of noun – that is, naming the objects of study.

 A name is given to an object and the child learns to identify the name of the objects in his environment and surrounding. The child is to be able to identify objects around him or her. The child learns the names of people, places, animals, and things around. For example – dog, cat, mountain, ocean, Peter, James, Monday, October, table, and chair.

Key Questions 
In working with FOW activities and exercises, there are key questions that we need to ask ourselves and answer correctly in our minds to be able to work effectively with the materials. These questions are:

· Which word told you the name of the thing? - ARTICLE

· Which word told you what kind of thing? - ADJECTIVE 

· Which word told you that I am looking for a particular thing?

· Which word connects the phrases? - CONJUNCTION

· Which word tells us where the thing is in relation to the place or environment? - PREPOSITION

· Which word tells you something to do? - VERB

· Which word tells you how to do something? -ADVERB

Once the child is able to figure out answers to these questions with the clues written down by the adult or guide, then working with the FOW activities can be lots of fun for the child.

ARTICLE - The activities of the FOW starts with the articles. The child learns to categorize the object with the exercises with articles. The child can tell if the article that will be attached to an object is ‘a’ or ‘the’. When the child is introduced to the article box, he begins by attaching names to all the objects in the box. He then begins to place the articles by the names to specify if the object is single or in group. When the object is just one, the article that will categorize it will be ‘the’ and when there is more than one, we say ‘a’.

ADJECTIVE – The adjective first introduces the child to the grammar symbols. The adjective is what describes the objects. It tells the child what kind of object he should bring – for example – if the object is ‘dog’, the adjective could be ‘curious’ – curious dog. The adjective could either be simple like the example given, or it could be logical or detective. The logical adjective uses reasoning of what suits the object most out of the given options while the detective adjective is more specific on the actual thing that it wants.

CONJUNCTION – The conjunction joins words, phrases, and sentences together. For example – go to the toilet and ease yourself. Each of these sentences can stand on their own. However, the conjunction brings them together. Other examples of conjunctions are - but, if… 

PREPOSITION – The preposition shows the relationship between the object words and other words in a sentence. Examples of prepositions are – under, up, on, between. For example – they walk up the mountain.

VERB – The verb introduces the sentence convention to the child. The verb is what shows the action. It is the doing word. Examples of verbs are – jump sing, dance, read. For example – I can jump.

ADVERB – The adverb is what describes the action. Adverb describes verb. Examples of adverbs are high, loud. For example – I can jump high. Another example could be – he is reading loudly.

Continuation of Commands – With the continuation of commands, the child learns to use two or more action words together. For example – jump and skip. I can jump and skip. This is the combination of two or more verbs which are action words.