Vocabulary is important for comprehension. Readers can’t understand what they read without knowing what most words mean. The most profitable and enduring manner through which to strengthen vocabulary skills is to teach students to use word structure to determine meaning. We must remember that the English language is composed of a mixture of other linguistic influences. Here, the linguistic influences come in the form of how we construct the words that compose our spoken and written language. The three main linguistic models that constitute the English language are Latinate (55%), Anglo-Saxon (25%), and Greek (11%). In order to successfully master our language, students must receive adequate exposure to the components of each of these three linguistic influences. This includes the foundational roots of Latinate word construction and the combining forms (roots) of Greek word construction. Additionally, students should be encouraged to read a variety of grade-level texts to acquire new vocabulary through the identification of these Latinate roots and Greek combining forms in action.
(Excerpted from, “School Success for Kids with Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties” by Walter Dunson, Ph.D.)
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