©Damen, 2021




Building English Vocabulary: Latin and Greek Elements in English

Mark Damen (mark.damen@usu.edu)
Main 307

Text. Donald M. Ayers, English Words from Latin and Greek Elements (2nd ed.)

Purpose. The purpose of this course is at once theoretical and applied. At the same time that you are increasing your understanding of English vocabulary by pursuing its historical roots, you will also enhance your knowledge of ancient western civilization by examining how it evolved through the perspective of language and linguistic change. Along with discussions and exercises about English words of classical origin, there will be presentations on Greek, Roman and medieval English history, the development of American English, culture and metaphor, and other topics relating to language evolution. Analysis of words will be based on sentences drawn from a wide range of English authors from the sixteenth century on. Tests and exercises will ask you to demonstrate:

awareness of language use spanning the modern and pre-modern eras;
understanding of the processes and principles affecting and effecting linguistic change;
knowledge of the classical word elements which underlie modern English vocabulary;
the ability to analyze particular English words built on Latin and Greek roots;
how these principles have been expressed in western thought and literature.

Grades. Five quizzes and two tests comprise the final grade in this class:

5 Quizzes (100 points each) 500 points
1 Midterm (Test #1) 200 points
1 Final (Test #2) 300 points
TOTAL 1000 points

Grades will be assigned on a standard percentage curve (1000 900 A; 900 800 B; 800 700 C; 700 600 D; below 600 F). A plus sign (+) will added to grades in the top 20% of a grade range (i.e., 900 880 B+; 800 780 C+; 700 680 D+), and a minus sign ( ) to grades in the bottom 20% (i.e., 920 900 A ; 820 800 B ; 720 700 C ). All tests and quizzes are cumulative, although quizzes will generally focus on newly acquired material. Missed tests and quizzes will count as zeroes. Make ups will be given only (1) with proof of a valid excuse, (2) with prior notification and (3) on the condition that the test/quiz is made up within a week of the original test/quiz date. Homework should be done independently; after all, that's the way you will be doing your tests. Incompletes will not normally be given. To ensure the accuracy of record keeping, students are strongly encouraged not to discard any records of graded work. No finals will be given before or after the scheduled time.

Course Structure. The course consists of seven sections (see Modules on the Canvas site). See the syllabus on Canvas for a day-by-day breakdown of course activity.  

Quizzes/Tests. Click on the links below to see a diathesis (outline) of each quiz or test. 

Quiz 1 (Latin Chapters 1-6, Ayers pp. 1-56)
Quiz 2 (Latin Chapters 7-13, Ayers pp. 57-89)
Quiz 3 (Latin Chapters 14-20, Ayers pp. 90-116)
Test 1 (Midterm, Latin Chapters 1-25, Ayers, pp. 1-155)
Quiz 4 (Greek Chapters 1-6, Ayers pp. 158-196)
Quiz 5 (Greek Chapters 7-13, Ayers pp. 196-231)
Test 2 (Final, All Chapters, Ayers, pp. 1-290)

Drills. There are two types of Drill in this course: Lesson Drills and Quiz/Test Drills (Quizzes, Midterm, Final). Lesson Drills focus on the material in individual chapters. Quiz and Test Drills cover the material which will appear on a quiz or test. Drills can be found on Canvas (canvas.usu.edu). All Drills are repeatable, timed and open-book. They should be used to review course material before quizzes and tests, or any point during the term. On Drills you will be asked to define or identify only items which have been assigned to be memorized.

Bonus Credit (on Lesson Drills). During a brief window (1-4 days) following the introduction of a lesson or lessons, Lesson Drills carry the potential of earning up to 4 points of bonus credit which will be added to your final grade total. After that window the same drill will still be available but as a Practice Drill with no bonus credit attached. Only your highest score on a Bonus Drill will be recorded. To earn bonus credit, you must complete Bonus Drills by the deadline posted for each on Canvas.

Guided Study Sessions. Each week students will have the opportunity for targeted review and exercise with course materials at a time scheduled outside of class. These Guided Study Sessions (also called Recitations) will be scheduled at the best times for the majority of the class, but we cannot guarantee that all students will be able to make it to both or either session, only that we will do the best we can to accommodate these times to the needs and schedules of as many students as possible. During these sessions students will be able to earn bonus credit by performing well on a brief, repeatable (but only twice!) quiz administered on Canvas. Students who do not stay through to the end of a Recitation or cannot make it to the session at all will not have the chance to earn this bonus credit. Exceptions may apply.

Study Habits. Because this is a class that requires a good deal of memorization, it is imperative that you keep up with assignments. Cramming leads directly to failure. See me immediately if you are having troubles staying up with the class. I am ready and willing to help you, but I can do nothing if you do not come to me first.

Academic Integrity. For matters relating to Academic Integrity (cheating, plagiarism and the unlikeable like), please see Article VI of the Student Code. Academic dishonesty in any form will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Do your own work.

Students with ADA-documented physical, sensory, emotional or medical impairments may be eligible for reasonable accommodations. Veterans may also be eligible for services. All accommodations are coordinated through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in Room 101 of the University Inn, (435)797-2444 voice, (435)797-0740 TTY, (435)797-2444 VP, or toll free at 1-800-259-2966. Please contact the DRC as early in the semester as possible. Alternate format materials (Braille, large print or digital) are available with advance notice.

All of this is subject to change. Students are responsible for keeping up to date with all alterations in scheduling, deadlines and assignments announced in class, on this web site, on Canvas or via email.


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