Language arts teacher Erin Vanek created a quick, clever vocab-based guessing game to spark her students' curiosity about a book she was about to assign. The result: students who are curious about the story and familiar with some of the key terms they'll see when they read. Continue reading...
If you're a teacher using Vocabulary.com, a great way to bump up your students' word learning is to take Vocabulary.com schoolwide. Class-to-class competition will create a word learning culture within your school, and your students' Words Mastered numbers will climb. Here's how one teacher made that happen within her school. Continue reading...
Topics: Vocabulary Bowl
Eighth grade teacher Erin Vanek decided to shake up her Monday morning vocabulary routine with Vocabulary.com, and her experiment with collaborative list creation paid off. Read on to discover how you can use collaborative list creation to ground your students' introduction to words as they are used, and not as they are defined. Continue reading...
Beadazzled is the name of a shop in a small town in the UK. A church in a city in Australia encourages passersby to "Prevent Truth Decay – Brush up on you Bible." These signs create something linguists Rodrigue Landry and Richard Y. Bourhis defined as "the linguistic landscape of a given territory, region or urban agglomeration" and they are all useful tools in the teaching of English to non-native speakers. Continue reading...

The Case Against Adverbs

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One of the students in my Fiction Writing Workshop told a classmate to take a red pen and cross out the multitude of adverbs he had strewn throughout his story. The rest of the class nodded their heads in agreement. But just before I could move us on to the next item on the agenda, the author asked the young woman who'd spoken up, "But why? Why can't I use adverbs?" Continue reading...
As a teacher, writer and editor, I spend a significant portion of my life reminding others (and myself) that certain pairs of words are not interchangeable, although they might seem to be. Now isn't the same as know, and affect can't pinch-hit for effect. Lose vs. loose is a particular frustration as of late. However, in all of my many years of teaching and writing, no one has ever asked me whether they ought to use O or oh, and this makes me sad. Continue reading...
As a teacher of English as a foreign language, I've developed a bit of an aversion to adjectives. Show me too many and I break out into a prolonged, painful and unpleasant rash. Or should that be painful, prolonged and unpleasant? Or...? Continue reading...
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