Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vocabulary Reflection

Throughout the year I've noticed that many of my vocabulary words either came from school articles pertaining to teaching or from "fun" reading (books that I read for pleasure). This says a lot about me because it shows that I am an avid reader and that I go through a lot of books, even when I'm busy with school I always try to find time to read for pleasure. Because I do make an effort to do this, many of these words come from books that are not scholarly (the majority being Young Adult novels -- A.S. King, John Green). These are the types of texts that I engage with frequently and on a day-to-day basis.

As the year progressed I found myself constantly thinking that I wanted to upload a new word to my blog whenever I came across an unfamiliar one. This happened even when I had already uploaded 2-3 words for the week. This blog has definitely made me more cognizant of new vocabulary and has inspired me to actually take the time and effort to look up an unknown word. I believe that even if I may not be keeping a blog anymore, I have now internalized the practice of looking up and being curious about an unknown or interesting word.

This blog has taught me how to keep my mind open and be more aware of unfamiliar words that I encounter. Whereas before I wasn't consciously thinking about this, now that I've been doing it for a few weeks it seems natural to always be on the look-out for unfamiliar vocabulary. I'm much more cognizant of the words that I come across, and how often I don't know the definition for some! Overall I think this is going to help me improve my vocabulary over time because it will encourage me to actively make a point of learning new words.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

9:2 - Obfuscate

When & Where: I found the word obfuscate while reading the same article, and even on the same page (pg 224) as the word tenet. The sentence was, "The dictionary often obfuscates understanding."

Level of Familiarity: I've never seen or heard this word before. It doesn't even look like a real word! I have no idea how to pronounce it either. Based on this sentence, my best guess is that it means 'confuses.' There aren't a lot of context clues here to help me out though.

What it Means: "render obscure, unclear, or unintelligable." (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: I find it interesting that this article seems to obfuscate understanding because of all the difficult vocabulary the author is using! I can't see myself using this word because I'm still not really sure how to pronounce it. However, if I come across it again while reading I know I'll remember what it means.

9:1 - Tenet

When & Where: I was reading Michelle's article for Monday's class ("Content Area Readers: Helping Middle-Level Students Become Word Aware (and Enjoy It!)") when I came across the word tenet. The sentence was: "In reviewing the literature, a number of important tenets repeatedly bubbled up."

Level of Familiarity: I've never heard this word before. Based on the context, I would guess that it means points or ideas.

What it Means: "a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy." (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: I could see myself using this word in class if I was teaching and trying to expand my students' vocabulary. Rather than saying principles or beliefs, this would be a nice way to expose them to different words.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

8:2 - Perseverate

When & Where: I was in LTED 626 listening to the same presentation when the presenter used the word perseverate. She said, "He will perseverate on an issue that is bothering him and refuse to speak."

Level of Familiarity: I've heard the word used before. I believe it was another one of my SAT vocabulary words. I think I remember it having to do with going back and forth between an issue, which would make sense in the context of the sentence.

What it Means: "Repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased" (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: My original guess was incorrect but I think this makes more sense in the sentence. I don't know if I will really use this word in the future but I do think it's a good one to know. I could maybe see myself using this word in writing, but I'm not quite comfortable enough to use it in conversation.

8:1 - Garrulous

When & Where: I was in class for LTED 626 and listening to a presentation, when the presenter used the word garrulous to describe her student. She said, "When he's engaged, he's garrulous and lively."

Level of Familiarity: I've heard this word before and I remember it being one of my SAT vocabulary words, but I can't remember what it means. Based on the context, I'd guess that it means energetic or animated.

What it Means: "Excessively talkative, especially on trivial matters" (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: I think this is a useful word to know because I have come across it a few times. The definition is easy to remember and it is also a good word to describe characters/characterization in novels. I'm going to try and use this word in the future.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

7:2 - Propagandistic

When & Where: I was reading Content-Area Writing for Monday's class when I came across this word on page 33: "In a history class, students were asked to examine a rather propagandistic 1860 newspaper drawing depicting Native Americans attacking homesteaders."

Level of Familiarity: I know what the word propaganda means, so I'm assuming that this word is another form of it and has the same/similar meaning. Although I've never seen this word before I can make a very accurate guess as to what it means. I wasn't aware that you could use propaganda in a sentence this way.

What it Means: "A person involved in producing or spreading propaganda" (www.dictionary.com)

Reflective Commentary: After reading the definition my initial assumption was correct. This is not a word I think I will ever use; however, I thought it was very interesting because I had never come across it before.

7:1 - Contentious

When & Where: I was eating lunch at work yesterday with some colleagues. One of the other English teachers said, "This other teacher -- who is very contentious -- always got into arguments with me about this one student."

Level of Familiarity: I know that I've heard this word before and it reminds me of the word contemptuous, which I think has a slightly similar meaning. I think it means someone who is full of themselves or stuck-up, but I'm not sure.

What it Means: www.dictionary.com says "(of a person) given to arguing or provoking argument."

Reflective Commentary: I think it's interesting that it can either be describing a person who argues a lot or describing a controversial idea or argument (a point of contention). There are a lot of different ways to use this word and I'm going to try to use it in the future because I've come across it so many times.