I can hear it now. One student defiantly raises a hand as I introduce our Latin vocabulary. Before I can even begin explaining the benefits, the student asks, “Why are we learning about this in English class?” Next time you have a student asking why they need to study roots and vocabulary from Greek and Latin, have this list on hand. 1. Greek and Latin are foundational You will be hard-pressed to find vocabulary without influence from Greek or Latin. The truth is, these “ancient” languages heavily influence our modern languages (particularly the Romantic ones). In fact, students who hope to learn other languages, especially Romantic ones, would do well to focus on building vocabulary in English rooted in Latin. Romance languages include French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish, and Latin influences about 80% of the vocabulary in all of these languages. That’s 800 million people whose language is built on Latin alone. 2. Greek and Latin are building blocks English is not consid...
Today is National Grammar Day. As English teachers, grammar is something that is always on our minds. We think about grammar as we create lesson plans and as we grade our students' essays. We think about it as we casually surf the Internet, and we think about it as we see typos and errors on billboards and grocery store circulars. Correct grammar and language usage comes easily for some people. It is something that probably comes easily to most English teachers. IFor us, it's almost like second nature to use the correct verb form and  make subjects and verbs agree. However, for some, grammar doesn't come as easily. This is something I've come to see in my own students -especially my ESL students. These are the students who really struggle in my class. They don't struggle because they aren't trying or don't care . They struggle because they lack the necessary language skills and background knowledge. The most important thing to remember about these s...