Greek & Latin Word Roots:
the Witty Wordsmith
Some estimate that as much as 70% of the English language comes directly or indirectly from Greek and Latin. As technology and science progress, new words are coined by combining roots from these two languages more than any other. Greek and Latin word roots are so foundational to the understanding of our own language that college preparedness exams like the SAT and ACT include sections to test the student’s ability to properly understand new and unfamiliar words that include the most common building blocks from the Classical languages.
The Witty Wordsmith
This class introduces approximately 300 Greek and Latin word roots that are frequently found in English words. Our weekly live class session is highly participatory, with students brainstorming words that use roots from the list, coining new words, and participating in a variety of verbal games.
Weekly homework assignments include defining words from their roots, correctly using them in creative sentences, and searching the English language for additional words that use roots from the current word list.
Exams use a variety of question types designed to prepare students for their college entrance exams. In addition to the roots discussed in class, each session includes a “story time,” which explains the Classical origins of common phrases or words like “Gordion knot” and “Pyrrhic victory” which come directly from the Greek and Roman world.
This class with definitely flex your “language muscle” and give you a greater appreciation for the origins of your own words.
There are a lot of “word root” programs out there but most of them require several years of painfully dry workbook assignments. This course will power boost your vocabulary and help you prepare for college entrance exams all in one fast paced semester. We study the most common building blocks of the English language using varied techniques, including instructor designed online and in class games.
All materials are provided by the instructor. There is no required text for this course. Students will be given recommendations for various online etymological dictionaries to use while completing assignments.
Average students will need around 3-4 hours to complete assignments and spend time in online review games plus additional time to prepare for quizzes scheduled every 2-3 weeks.
Recommended for 7th/8th grade level and above.
Autumn semester only:
2015-2016 course registration