Tag Archives: foreign languages

Word Root Exercise: Cogn

Ok, after a couple of themed history months it has been a while since I posted one of these. So here is a worksheet on the Latin word root cogn. It means knowledge. As you can probably see, you will find this very productive root in English words like cognition, recognize, and incognito.

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: Afroasiatic Languages

“Afroasiatic languages formerly Hamito-Semitic languages: Superfamily of about 250 languages presently spoken by and estimated 250-300 million people ethnically and physically diverse people in North Africa and parts of sub-Saharan Africa and in southwest Asia. The major branches of Afroasiatic are Semitic, Berber, Egyptian, Cushitic and Chadic. Berber is a group of closely related languages spoken by perhaps 15 million people in enclaves scattered across North Africa from Morocco to northwest Egypt and in parts of the western Sahara. Cushitic is a family of about 30 languages spoken by more than 30 million people in northeast Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, and a few areas of northeast Tanzania. Omotic, formerly classified as part of Cushitic, is a cluster of perhaps more than 30 languages spoken by 2-3 million people, most of whom live near the Omo River in southwest Ethiopia. Chadic comprises about 140 languages, most poorly known to linguists, spoken in northern Nigeria, southern Niger, southern Chad, and northern Cameroon; except for Hausa, probably no individual Chadic language has more than half a million speakers.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Terms of Art: De Facto and De Jure Segregation

“de facto segregation: Racial separation that occurs in a school or other public institution ‘in fact’ or ‘in practice,’ as a result of such factors as housing patterns or school enrollment and not because of legal requirements. See also de jure segregation

de jure segregation: Racial separation that occurs in a school or other public institution as a result of laws that require separate facilities for people of different races. De jure segregation was declared unconstitutional by the U.S Supreme Court in 1954, in the Brown v. Board of Education decision.”

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

Tower of Babel

“Tower of Babel: A structure erected after the Flood by the descendants of Noah when they reached Babylonia. According to Gen. 11, the plan was to build a tower that would reach to heaven, but Jehovah, displeased by the arrogance and presumption of the builders, “confounded their speech” so they could not understand one another and “scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.” The story provides a biblical explanation for the diversity of languages around the world. Tower of Babel has come to signify an ambitious or visionary scheme; the word babel has become associated with a confused uproar in which nothing can be heard but the hubbub.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Leo Tolstoy

Here is a reading on Leo Tolstoy and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Do high school students read Tolstoy–or any of the big Russian authors, for that matter? I prepared these documents last week after a high school chum of mine mentioned in correspondence that he’d read Anna Karenina at our high school. Ours was a somewhat unusual (and unusually small) school, but not that far out of the mainstream–though I did read Richard Brautigan for the first time there.

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.

The Weekly Text, January 22, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Predicate Adjective

It’s an important syntactical structure and area of English usage, so I have written several lessons on the predicate adjective; I want students to have this sentence structure and its parts, especially linking verbs, down cold. So, this week’s Text is yet another lesson plan on the predicate adjective.

I open this lesson with this worksheet on the Latinism N.B., or nota bene. The first time I saw this abbreviation on a piece of my Russian language homework in college, I looked it up and mastered its use. It is a phrase students ought to know. This is the scaffolded worksheet on using the predicate adjectives at the center of the lesson, and here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet for ease of teaching this lesson.

There are two learning supports (ultimately, I’d plan to make four, for, again, scaffolded teaching and learning). The first one is organized to provide extra support for students who need it; the second one is less organized and structured and therefore places greater demand on heuristics and the ability to search for just the right word.

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: Dent, Denti

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots dent and denti. Would you be terribly surprised that they mean, respectively, tooth and teeth?

This is a very productive root in English, and one particularly useful for student considering healthcare careers, especially, uh, dentistry.

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, January 15, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Latin Word Root Medi-

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for Friday, January 15, 2021, is a lesson plan on the Latin word root medi. It means middle; unless I miss my guess, you already recognize this as an extremely productive root in English, as well as across the Romance Languages.

I open this lesson with this context worksheet on the noun intermediary. This is a commonly used word in English. Its adjectival form, intermediate, shows up on this scaffolded worksheet on this word root that is the principal work of this lesson.

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.

Accede (vi)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb accede. It’s used only intransitively, and relatively rarely, in my experience, despite its stemming from a solid Latin root at the base of many other commonly used words in English. It means “to become a party (as to an agreement),” “to express approval or give consent, give in to a request or demand.” and “to enter upon an office or position.” A near synonym is assent–another intransitive verb meaning “to agree to something esp. after thoughtful consideration.”

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.

Ad Nauseam

“Ad Nauseam To the point of vomiting: to a sickening or wearisome degree, unrelievedly.

‘Henry Miller couldn’t feel anything and dug graves for a living. William Burroughs was an exterminator, Carl Sandburg was a janitor, Faulkner had to run rum, and so on, ad nauseam.’ Robert Hendrickson, The Literary Life”

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