Tag Archives: foreign languages

Word Root Exercise: Fid

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root fid. It means faith, but as it made its way into English words, it began to connote “truth” as well. You’ll find this root in such commonly used words as confide, fidelity, affidavit, and confidant.

In fact, when you see the United States Marine Corps motto Semper Fi, what you see is an abbreviation of semper fidelis, the Latin for “always faithful.”

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: Centr/o, Centri

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots centr-o and centri. They mean, fairly obviously, center. Also obvious from the beginning is that this is a very productive root in English, showing up at the base of a number of high-frequency words in both the vernacular and scholarly language.

To name just three that show up in the high school curriculum, we have (on this worksheet) ethnocentric, eccentric, and anthropocentric.

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: Extra-, Extro

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots extra and extro. They mean outside and beyond. This two roots are at the base of a lot of high-frequency words in English, including two adjectives commonly used in your own school–extracurricular and extramural.

Or how about the strong expository verb extrapolate? Surely something we want students to be able to do. Then of course there is always the old standby, extraordinary, literally “beyond ordinary.” 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: Arch, Archi, Arche/o, and Archae/o

Here is a worksheet on the Greek roots arc , archi, archeo, and archae/o. They mean rule, chief, first, and ancient. You can probably see archaeology (i.e. the study of ancient things) growing from the final of the four, but the others are a bit more obscure. There is an element of polysemy in these roots, which may make this worksheet, or at least finding the pattern of meaning in the words on it, a bit more difficult for students.

Still, when you think of words like archenemy, included in this document, archbishop, or archdiocese, suddenly chief and first come into sharper focus. Likewise monarch, archetype and hierarchy, also both present in this worksheet, reinforce those meanings. As far as rule is concerned, many of the political and social positions described by words growing from this root do indeed rule, as well as promulgate rules.

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.

Lingua Franca

“Lingua Franca: Frankish language: a hybrid language that serves as a common mode of discourse between groups or peoples speaking different languages, especially as a commercial or trade jargon; a useful makeshift lingo (formerly a language used in Mediterranean commerce).

‘The thought came to Holliwell that he had spent much of his life depending on a few local people, speaking some lingua franca, hovering insect-like about the edge of some complex ancient society which he could never hope to really penetrate.’ Robert Stone, A Flag for Sunrise.”

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

Sororal (adj)

Here is a context clues context clues worksheet on the adjective sororal. As you can probably hear, this word means “of, relating to, or characteristic of a sister.” If your students plan to belong to a sorority, then this might be a handy word to know. Outside this relatively narrow use, there just might not be a lot of need for this document.

Incidentally, did you know the noun sororate means “the marriage of one man to two or more sisters usually successively and after the first wife has been found to be barren or after her death.” It’s a relatively recent word, apparently, first coined in 1910–though like the other words in this post, it originates with the Latin soror, “sister.”

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: E-

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root e-, a tiny morpheme that means, simply, out. If you’ve used other word root worksheets on this blog, you’ll quickly see that this is not among the strongest of them I’ve assembled. At the same time, words like egress, eject, and elude–not to mention educate (in the sense of “drawing out of”) to carry connotations, if not outright denotations, of out.

Still, this is a tough inferential nut to crack.

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.

The Weekly Text, 27 August 2021: A Lesson Plan on Using the Reciprocal Pronouns

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using the reciprocal pronoun. In addition to the broad use of language the lesson aims to help students develop, the narrow objective of this lesson is to help students understand usage, in this case that the two reciprocal pronouns are, each other, which refers to two people, and one another, which refers to more than two people. 

I generally open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Latinism mea culpa (i.e. “my fault” or “I’m to blame,” or, as I’ve heard some students say, “my bad”; you can probably see the root of culpability in this phrase). This is a half-page worksheet with a two-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. If the lesson goes into a second day, or if you simply prefer it, here is a homophones worksheet on you’re and your. This is also a half-page worksheet, with six modified cloze exercises.

This scaffolded worksheet is the principal work of this lesson. It starts with a series of modified cloze exercises, then calls upon students, to practice independently (i.e. homework) by writing sentences demonstrating they can align the proper number of subject with its proper reciprocal pronoun. To make teaching this a little easier, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

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: Anth/o

Here is a worksheet on the Greek root anth/o. It means, simply, flower. And while it is at the root of anthology for some reason, this worksheet uses words like anther, chrysanthemum, perianth, and polyanthus. In other words, all nice, solid, Greek, flower-related words.

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.

Term of Art: Suggestopedia

“Suggestopedia: A method of foreign-language instruction developed by Bulgarian psychologist Georgi Lozanov in the 1970s that uses the power of positive suggestion. Teachers trained in Suggestopedia’s techniques create a calm physical classroom environment that relaxes the students and lowers their affective filter, or resistance to learning. The teacher first introduces the words and grammar of the lesson, Then, during a concert session, students listen to the teacher read the lesson while Baroque music plays in the background. Other forms of art, such poetry, drama, and puppetry, are also employed to stimulate students’ perceptions. The students sing songs and play games, using what they have learned, and then interact with one another in the new language, without correction. The method is also referred to as desuggestopedia to reflect advances in its theoretical development.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.