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How to teach etymology

Unit 6


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Learning about etymology can support children’s development in many areas of English such as vocabulary, spelling and comprehension. This session begins by looking at where etymology features in the National Curriculum and how it is connected to morphology. It also takes time to see how it links to spelling, with particular word origins and pronunciations being highlighted within the appendix of the programmes of study. Course creator Shareen Wilkinson introduces her RESCUE method for helping children get to grips with new language, in which children explore, check and explain words in different contexts. She emphasis too the importance of taking time to investigate prefixes and root words, and the function of root words and word stems. We finish with a discussion about the need to explicitly teach the meanings of root words and prefixes / suffixes, but also how children should be able to do their own investigations and enjoy discovering the origins of words.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of Shareen Wilkinson

Shareen Wilkinson

An experienced primary school teacher and senior leader, Shareen currently runs a successful education consultancy in London. Working with LAs across the country, she has an extensive track record of raising standards in English. Writing and advising for Letts, HarperCollins, Rising Stars and OUP, Shareen also acts as a subject expert on reading and grammar for the DfE.

About the Course

These sessions focus on deepening and developing subject knowledge in primary English. Key areas (e.g. grammar, writing and spelling) are explored in depth, so that teachers can feel confident when delivering them in the classroom, and there are plenty of practical ideas to try too.

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