Apr 11, 2014

Words You Should Avoid When Teaching Kids (and adults)

Using big words with kids (and adults) hurts your communication instead of helping it.

Great communicators know how to take the complex and communicate it with simplicity.

Simple words = effective communication.  Complex words = ineffective communication.

A recent study at Princeton University revealed the following:

3 essays were scored:
#1 - essay with simple words
#2 - essay with more complex words
#3 - essay with even more complex words

Guess which one was rated the highest? #1

A foreign text was translated:
#1 - translated into simple words
#2 - translated into more complex words

Guess which one was accessed the highest by a group of readers? #1

A text that had complex words was taken and...
#1 - text was left as is
#2 - words that had 9 letters or more were replaced with shorter synonyms

A group of people were asked to read both texts and then vote on which author was the most intelligent.  Guess which one was voted as the most intelligent? #2

Here's some tips...

Avoid using long, complex words.  Use short, easy common words when teaching kids (and adults).  When you use big words, people's attention will shift from what you're trying to communicate to trying to figure out what the word you just said means.  Choose being heard over sounding smart.

Don't use big Bible words when teaching kids (and adults).  Words like...
  • regeneration
  • propitiation
  • redemption
  • imputation
  • justification
  • sanctification
  • predestination
Make sure the key point you want the kids to remember from the lesson is simple and short.  The shorter and more simple it is, the better the kids will remember it.

Fill in these blanks...
The few...the proud...the ___________
Nike...just ________
MM's...melts in your mouth...not ______________

You remember these because they're short.  If they were a paragraph, you probably wouldn't be able to finish them.

Put it on the bottom shelf.  If you want to reach all your audience all the time, then put the cookies on the bottom shelf.  Again...remember...great communicators know how to turn the complex into simplicity.

When Jesus was asked to sum up all the law, He didn't go into a long, complex explanation.  He simply said to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. 

What are some other complex words we should avoid when teaching kids?  Share with us the comment section below.

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