Vol. 4. No. 2 A-2 November 1999
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Etymology and Vocabulary Development for the L2 College Student

Tom S. Bellomo
University of Central Florida


The result of an in-class experiment demonstrated that etymology as a word attack strategy for L2 students does not offer an unfair advantage to students whose L1 is Latin-based (the Romance languages). A significant portion of the English language makes use of Latin roots and affixes; therefore, students whose original language is derived from Latin will initially have an advantage in word recognition due to cognates. A pre-test did in fact demonstrate this disparity between the two populations, though near equivalent scores on a post-test demonstrated that both Latin-based and non Latin-based languages equally benefited from direct instruction which utilized etymology as a word attack strategy.

Keywords: Etymology, Vocabulary

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