Vocabulary Building – Learning Latin

A penny - E Pluribus Unum (Latin)One of the questions I am asked most often is how to improve vocabulary. Having worked in local high schools for many years, I am familiar with many of the vocabulary lists well-meaning high school English teachers give their students. List after list of unconnected words or perhaps, to state it more accurately, words connected only by the fact that they appear in the same difficult to master novel.

While American schools are facing extreme budget shortfalls and program cuts, classes such as Latin are being placed on the chopping block. Who speaks Latin anymore anyway? What’s the point in learning it?

I have to admit, I was not a big fan of Latin when I took it in college, but I was able to recognize the benefit of studying it. Many of our modern words come from Latin therefore keeping this dead language alive. The ability to break down unknown vocabulary into recognizable parts is essential in doing well, not only on standardized tests, but in life as well and learning Latin can help do this.

Whether your school offers a Latin class or not, it may be a wise idea to invest a little time long before your SAT or ACT test date to review some Latin. Vocabulary building is indeed a skill which will show itself useful in many aspects of life.

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