Build English Vocabulary
via Latin Roots

It takes a lifetime to build a strong English vocabulary. In the long run, the advantage goes to life-long learners who understand the power of Latin roots. Learning just one Latin verb can yield word origins for dozens of related words.

Master the roots, and feel the power of understanding hundreds, even thousands, of new English words.

A larger vocabulary will give you greater access to the vibrant and varied world of English literature. Students and teachers of English will be amazed at how much the study of Latin improves vocabulary.

The Power of Guided Reading:

Guiding your students through the discovery of new words will build the skills they need to become life-long readers and learners.

From Chaucer and Shakespeare to Dickens and Thoreau, literature is filled with Latin root words.

For many students, these words become barriers to understanding. The irony is that these are the very words that can unlock the whole world of English literature.

So get started with some elementary classics!

Elementary Literature:

Popular books for young readers contain root words that will become the building blocks of an advanced English vocabulary. The following words come from Charlotte’s Web, often taught in the fourth or fifth grade.

Commotion, sedentary, audience, compunctions, untenable

Each of these words contains Latin roots any ten-year-old can learn and understand. And those roots yield dozens of words that might show up six years later on an SAT exam.

Teach the Latin roots now! It will give your young students a strong foundation for future learning.

Middle School Reading:

The novels and plays most commonly taught in middle school hold many challenging vocabulary words. The following words are taken from Of Mice and Men.

Pugnacious, reprehensible, indignation, juncture, derision

Rather than learning each word individually, put some effort into understanding the roots. Over time, this strategy will pay off ten-fold.

For some words, make that twenty-fold! Yes, each Latin root can yield up to 20 English derivatives or more!

High School Vocabulary:

High school students today face college entrance exams that would put many adults to shame when it comes to English vocabulary.

The following words come from SAT practice exams.

Supercilious, infinitesimal, corpulent, meretricious, vacuous

Students who learn to examine Latin and Greek roots will enjoy exercising their new skills as they gain knowledge and confidence.

And their test scores will prove the power of Latin and Greek.

See More Latin Roots

Return from English Vocabulary to Vocabulary Lesson Plans