Tag Archives: foreign languages

Glitch (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun glitch. It means “a usually minor malfunction,”  “a minor problem that causes a temporary setback,” and “a false or spurious electronic signal.” The context clues in this sentence point mostly to the first two definitions; the first sentence on the worksheet–“Arleny’s phone has developed a glitch that causes a delay in the delivery of text messages”–might, with some revision, supply context for the first definition.

Parenthetically, would you be surprised to hear this word comes to the English language from Yiddish? It does sound like it might; in Yiddish, glitsch means “a slippery place”; the verb glitshn means “to slide, glide.” Enough said.

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: Vor

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root vor, which means to eat. You’ll find this productive root, unsurprisingly, at the base of words like carnivore, herbivore, and insectivore and voracious (all included in this document) as well as omnivore, not included here but a nice example of a pair of Latin roots–omni means all–combining to give us a useful word–someone or something that eats everything.

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: Prot, Proto

Moving right along on a cool and cloudy Thursday morning in Brooklyn, here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots prot– and proto. It means primitive and first, which helps me understand how we end up, in English, with prototype. Protagonist, however, mystifies me a bit; I suppose because the protagonist is the primary (i.e. first) actor in a situation, the word sensibly springs from prot.

Anyway, this document includes several other words that spring from this productive root, including such scientific words as protoplast, protozoan, proton, and protozoology.

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: Vers, Vert

OK, if you can use it, here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots vers and vert. They mean turn. So you probably won’t be surprised to hear that these roots turn up in commonly used English words such as adverse, divert, extrovert, and revert, since all involve a turning of some sort. I think a nifty assessment for this worksheet would be to ask students if they can think of any words that spring from this root–e.g. reverse, obverse, subvert, etc–that are not included in the worksheet.

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.

Bon Mot

“Bon Mot  A clever, well-phrased observation or remark; witticism. Pl. bons mots, bon mots.

‘The literary Jews also sprinkled their prose with Yiddish bon mots in lieu of the Latin that the Southerners favored.’ Richard Kostalanetz, Literary Politics in America”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Word Root Exercise: Tetra-

Phew. I am on track to publish 30 blog posts this morning. So, to reach that number, here is a worksheet on the Greek word root tetra. It means four. You’ll find this root at the base of words (all present in this document) such as tetragon, tetrahedron, tetrapod, and tetravalent. If you’re teaching math or science or both, this worksheet might be useful (but it might not–those aren’t my subjects, alas).

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: Verb

Moving right along this morning, here is a worksheet on the Latin word root verb. As you probably infer, this root simply means word. You’ll find this root at the base of just about any word in English related to language, for example (and all on this worksheet), adverb, proverb, verbalize, and verbatim.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Art for Art’s Sake

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of art for art’s sake. This is a half-page worksheet with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. In its brevity, this document does a fine job of introducing the concept of art for its own sake–that art needs no economic, political, or social justification.

If nothing else, students will now know what ars gratia artis means when Leo the Lion roars at the beginning of Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) films.

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: Tele, Tel, Telo

Here is a on the Greek word roots tele, tel, and telo. They mean distant, end, and complete. You’ll find this root, somewhat abstractly, at the basis of words like telegenic, telegraph and telegram (mostly obsolete nouns now, I suppose), and telemetry, all of which are included on this worksheet–which means, if the author of the book from which this work is drawn remains correct, these words are likely to show up on the SAT.

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: Tri

Moving right along this morning, here is a worksheet on the Latin word root tri. Do I need to tell you that it means three, and is found (as it is in this document) in such high-frequency words in English as triangle, triathlon, and triad?

I didn’t think so.

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.