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Vocabulary 101

Have you ever wondered WHY teachers teach what they do? The question "When will I ever use THAT?" has been passed down through the ages and personally, I'm STILL not quite certain how I'm using quantitative analysis in my everyday life. I do know, however, that we all speak, read, and listen and vocabulary increases our skill levels in all these areas.

Since vocabulary is so critical in improving our communication skills, it is an integral part of the English program for 7th and 8th grade students. Beginning in 7th grade, students will learn words commonly used on the SAT test as well as common word roots, prefixes and suffixes. 8th graders will review these words. The hope is that this immersion into vocabulary will increase reading comprehension in all academic subjects, improve each student's writing and improve test scores on such standardized tests as the STAAR, PSAT, SAT and ACT. Higher test scores will hopefully translate into students being accepted into the colleges of their choice and getting scholarships to help PAY for it! It will also help those students who are not college bound because improved verbal skills will make them more marketable when they are job searching.

Besides long-term benefits, working on vocabulary provides immediate benefits to students. Students who study will generally make a 100 as a test grade so this is a great opportunity for those students who may be a little weak in English yet are willing to learn definitions. They will receive the words and definitions early enough so that there will be ample time for each student to be successful.

Although the study of English is important, I realize that there are many people in this country who function quite well at their jobs even though they can't tell the difference between an adjective or an adverb and they don't remember the prologue to Romeo and Juliet. I can guarantee you, though, that everyone needs to be able to communicate ideas to someone else - a boss, employee, child or spouse - and the more proficient one is at speaking, the more likely he will be effective. Hopefully, learning new vocabulary words will help each student to be a more effective communicator.




Mrs. Stluka's Web Site
Shiner ISD
P.O. Drawer 804
510 CR 348
Shiner, TX 77984