“The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein


buzz words: rigorous vocabulary teaching

3 hours

Buzz Words is vocabulary teaching done right, focusing on those words that matter most to vocabulary development, words which improve comprehension and support academic learning.

With over a million words in the English language, you can’t teach them all. Learn which buzz words make the biggest difference to children’s vocabulary.

You will discover the best way to teach buzz words to children using a simple but effective teaching sequence:

  • pronounce and spell: children will use words more readily if they know how to say and spell them
  • explain: dictionaries definitions don’t work for many children; carefully crafted explanations do couched in familiar language and contexts are far more successful when introducing new words
  • understand: explore shades of meaning, synonyms & antonyms and the various forms target words can take and the different uses they can be put to
  • engage: actively engage with words through a suite of word-learning techniques that deepen children’s understanding, encourage practice and make new words stick
  • write: to use new words successfully in written work, children need carefully guided writing practice in which they use newly acquired vocabulary
  • check: why invest time in word-learning if we aren’t going to check that words have been learned in the long-term?


wordology: teaching morphology & etymology

1.5 hours

To make a meaningful impact on vocabulary acquisition it is estimated that we need to teach approximately 400 new words each year. What if there were a way to make this manageable, so that instead of teaching words individually we could group words? Morphology is the answer – the key to unlocking a wealth of new words.

Understanding just a small number of root words can unlock thousands of new words. For example:

  • the adjective forming suffix -ous can add these new adjectives to children’s vocabularies: hazardous, momentous, miraculous, prosperousand ravenous
  • the root word man(u) meaning handunlocks the meanings of manacle, manage, manoeuvre, manipulate, manualand manufacture


Wordology shows you how to unlock the power of morphology (the meaning of words) and etymology (the origin of words) to build vocabulary strategically. You will learn which prefixes, suffixes and root words are the key to learning the meaning of thousands of new words and will most improve children’s vocabulary. And you will be guided through a range of engaging teaching strategies for learning and exploring morphology.

You will discover the beauty of word maps and word webs which show the interconnectedness of words through their shared morphemes. And you will learn how to help children analyse multisyllable words in their reading by using their growing knowledge of the common morphemes that make up such a huge number of words in English.