Reasons To Teach Greek and Latin Roots

6 Things That Improve When You Teach Word Parts

Do you have students who struggle to read longer, multisyllabic words? As texts become harder and more complex, readers need to be equipped with decoding skills that help them interpret unknown words. 

According to the Journal of Educational Research, more than 60% of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. The percentage increases as students progress to more technical texts. If students are able to identify the different parts of a word, including the root, prefix, and/or suffix, word recognition will improve. This will lead to an overall improvement in the areas listed below.  

1. Vocabulary  

At the most basic level, familiarity with Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes will help students understand the meaning of new words. Since there are often many words associated with each Greek and Latin word part, students will dramatically increase their vocabulary when they know the meanings of common roots and affixes. Click HERE to try Unit 1 Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes for FREE! 

2. Spelling

Most Greek and Latin roots have predictable spelling patterns. As students become more proficient with word parts, their spelling skills will improve. If students know the spelling of common roots, there is a high likelihood they will be able to spell many different words with the same root. 

3. Comprehension

Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in the reading process and is critical to reading comprehension. If students know how to decode large words by identifying root words and affixes, they will be prepared to tackle higher level texts. Over time, word recognition will improve, leading to an overall increase in reading comprehension.  Click the button below to download a free printable PDF of 120 commonly used roots, prefixes, and suffixes. 


Root Words Free PDF List

4. Fluency

When students become familiar with the different parts of words, their ability to read with speed, accuracy, and expression will improve. 

5. Test Scores

Most standardized tests include complex texts with multisyllabic vocabulary. When taking these types of exams. there is a high probability that students will encounter words they have never seen before. When this occurs, students can use their knowledge of morphology to infer meaning. The word autobiography is a great example. If students know the meanings of the individual word parts (auto, bio, graphy), they can figure out the meaning of the word. The ability to decode larger words will lead to an increase in comprehension and higher test scores.  

6. Confidence

Confidence is built with accomplishment. When students experience repeated success with challenging texts, they become more confident readers. 

Editable Roots, Prefixes, & Suffixes Pennant Activity

Greek and Latin Roots Activity

Want to add word parts instruction to your curriculum? Click here to see a 3-step instructional approach

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FREE! 120 Commonly Used Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

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6 Things That Improve When You Teach Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes