Teaching Vocabulary through Greek and Latin Roots

Tim Rasinski is a renowned professor of literacy education whose research on reading fluency and word study has made him a literacy hero to many. Below, he shares his thoughts on the importance of Greek and Latin roots. 

In last month’s blog, I tried to highlight the importance of morphology, in particular, Latin and Greek word roots, for developing students’ vocabularies. Knowing just one Latin or Greek root can help a reader unlock the meaning of 10 or more English words. It demonstrates the efficacy of expanding vocabularies through word roots instruction. Equally important, we know that most academic words (the words and concepts students need to know for mastering math, science, and social studies) in English are derived from Latin and Greek roots. If you accept the premise that Latin and Greek roots offer great promise for increasing vocabulary, the next question should be how can vocabulary be taught through a word roots approach?     

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