Anyone who has taken an English class can verify how difficult the language can be. Not only are there the definitions for each word to remember, there are also words that sound the same but mean different things, or look the same but have a different meanings. We can hang clothes in a closet then close the door; or we can read a new book if we have not read it before. It can all be very confusing: for native speakers as well as students learning it as a foreign language.
To assist with the learning of correct English, the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshopprovides instruction for students both needing extra help, and those wanting to learn English language skills. Developed as a series of modules, the books are coded by colors for the lower grades and by alphabetical order for middle school through high school. Each module contains 15 units of 20 words, for a total of 300 vocabulary words that students are required to master before moving on to the next level.
Within each workshop unit, exercises are designed to move the student through a series of assignments to create understanding in both reading and writing. Students cover definitions, use of the word in sentences, synonyms and antonyms, and using the word in different contexts. Learning and word retention is increased by the workshop’s use of these straight forward activities designed to familiarize students with the words and puzzles and games that can be used to extend learning and create deeper meaning. By the time students have completed the module, they have mastered the meaning of the vocabulary words and are able to integrate them in writing assignment in any subject area.
Even though these workshops were designed to be self-paced for individual learners, many teachers are using them to teach vocabulary as classroom assignments. This added pressure to learn the words of increasing difficulty may cause stress for students struggling to keep up with the class. In this case, several websites are available to students for additional help. In these sites, students can access the level they are working at and get answers to workshop questions that have been entered by past students. As an example, Level C Vocab Answers would provide answers to the corresponding level C workshop. Reading definitions and answers entered by students who have already completed the workshop may give insight and encouragement to those needing a little extra help with this difficult language.