Topic:Vocabulary

Ever since College Board President David Coleman announced that the redesigned SAT would replace its testing of more obscure words such as mendacious or treacly with the analysis of more frequent, multiple-meaning words in context, educators have been fretting about what this may mean for the study of vocabulary and for the precision of the next generation of American students' English in general. Continue reading...
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Talking about the Pulitzer Prizes awarded this week? Make sure you're up on these ten words. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
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Although the hero of Richard Wright's classic tale of the African American experience has a hard time coming up with words, Wright never falters. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
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When I was studying Spanish and had gotten to the point where our assignments consisted of reading real books, I kept a well-thumbed dictionary on my desk. Every paragraph seemed to contain several words that I had to look up, which was tedious and slow. Our wise teacher kept telling us that we didn't need to do that—you don't actually have to know what every word means to understand the text. Continue reading...
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A literacy coach set out to storm the Vocabulary.com school leaderboards by herself and ended reaching her goal with an army of middle schoolers at her side, setting off a blaze of word learning excitement at her school. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Teachers, Vocabulary
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With the teams competing in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament whittled down to the Final Four, "March Madness" is coming to a close. (Actually, as has been the case for a few decades now, March Madness extends into the beginning of April, when the semifinal and final games are played.) In honor of college hoops, I've selected a "Final Four" of important terms associated with the tournament. Continue reading...
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Is it possible to take vocabulary expansion too far? In a piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein points out the situations where word-knowledge can work against you, making the point that "language junkies" might want to be careful lest they alienate people they're trying to impress, or just render themselves incomprehensible. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Vocabulary
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