Tag Archives: English language learners

The Weekly Text, August 16, 2019

Over the years, I have become more an more concerned with the trouble polysemous words have caused the students under my instruction. English is such a wild mutt of a language that it’s not difficult in the least to see why it causes its learners such problems. In some cases, one needs the skills of a linguist to decode dense strands of polysemy.

While not one of the most difficult words in English, success does morph its definition as it morphs into different parts of speech. Students I have served in the past generally have trouble with sequencing and chronologies, so the idea of succession does not come easily to them. This makes understanding of the chronology, structure, and sequence of say, a royal dynasty, difficult to convey in social studies classes.

I wrote this suite of five context clues worksheets on succeed (verb), success (noun), succession (noun), successive (adjective), and successor (noun) in an attempt to help students get a grasp of this family of words. These worksheets might be best presented in one lesson–I don’t know. I’ve tended to place them with units where the words are used, but I am not at all confident that students made the associations between them necessary to understand them.

So I would be particularly interested in hearing how you used them, if you did.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Phil/o, Phile

It’s an extremely productive root in English, so this worksheet on the Greek word roots phil/o and phile might benefit students across a fairly wide band of ability and understanding to build their vocabularies. They mean love, attracted to, affinity for, and a natural liking.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Plaintive (adj)

It was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day on Monday, so here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective plaintive. I couldn’t decide whether or not it warranted a worksheet. Fortunately, my good friend Karen pointed out that it’s a word that describes a concept few other words do, so perhaps it is a word students ought to know before they graduate high school.

In any case, there it is.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Penta, Pent

Alright, I’m wrapping up on a beautiful summer morning in Western New England. Here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots penta and pent. They mean, of course, five.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Faze (vt)

Hot off the press (it was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day one day last week) is this context clues worksheet on the verb faze. It is apparently only used transitively.

As I wrote this document while drinking my coffee this morning, it occurred to me that this verb might be better presented as a homophone worksheet with the noun phase. Because this idea will very likely cycle in my hamster wheel of a mind until I do something about it, it will almost certainly show up here at some point in the future.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: ology and logy

Here is a worksheet on the Greek roots ology and logy. They mean both study of and science. You needn’t think much about these two roots to realize just how productive they are in English. People studying for careers in the health professions would do well to master these roots’ meanings.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Tactic (n)

OK, here is a context clues worksheet on the noun tactic it it’s a word you need students to understand.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.