The importance of building and expanding student vocabulary is overlooked with relative frequency, and even when it is emphasized in an academic program there is often too much focus on the strict memorization of each specific term. The key to building an expansive vocabulary is to utilize engaging study strategies that encourage students to not just memorize a definition, but to also include these newly learned terms in everyday conversation along with all forms of written communication. When the new terms are applied in a variety of settings, it becomes far more likely that each vocabulary term will become a regular part of the student’s everyday language and not just a long-since forgotten yet vaguely familiar word.
Root Words: An Overlooked Strategy
One of the many benefits of learning Latin is the ability to recognize the roots of words commonly appearing in English, thereby making it easier to decipher the meaning of a word that may otherwise appear to be completely unfamiliar. While it is quite rare to find a course in which students are taught Latin, many educators continue to tout the benefits of teaching root words while expanding student vocabulary. The Groza Learning Center, for example, often teaches its students the meanings of root words while providing examples in which those roots are commonly found. When preparing for the SAT, ACT or any other critical examination a student may encounter during their academic career, the ability to recognize the root of an unfamiliar word can greatly enhance the student’s performance while also instilling a tremendous sense of self-confidence.
Strong Vocabulary Skills Yield Long-Lasting Benefits
While this is certainly a beneficial approach for students preparing to take a standardized test that may include a great deal of unfamiliar terminology, it is also a skill that is valuable across all subject areas and yields long-lasting benefits. Having a deep understanding of the meanings of a variety of root words is incredibly useful in all manner of circumstances outside of academia as well, with this familiarity greatly easing communication in all of its many forms while also ensuring a greater understanding of a number of distinct languages.