Category: Wordsmyth features
Wordsmyth offers free trial subscriptions
The big blue button on our dictionary pages is hard to miss. If you’re a registered user, you can simply click on the button and start enjoying access to subscription benefits for 15 days with no obligation:
- Unlimited saving of quizzes and glossaries, with the ability to enter up to 50 words in an activity.
- Word Parts for vocabulary building: thousands of dictionary entries include information about the prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots that form the word you’ve looked up. Easily explore other words containing the same root or affix.
- Word Combinations (also known as “collocations”) for writing support using the word you’ve looked up. Construct idiomatic, error-free, and powerful sentences.
- Spanish support. Translations of headwords and example sentences.
- Ad-free environment.
When your 15 days are up, you can choose to continue your subscription for a year ($9.95). Otherwise, you will automatically be unsubscribed, with no action necessary on your part.
Experience subscription benefits for 15 days and let us know what you think on our facebook page or by emailing us your feedback from the link at the bottom of our web site pages.
Wordsmyth’s new Word Parts database
The importance of learning Word Parts
Studying word parts (roots and affixes) equips us to do the following:
- Identify the meaningful elements that make up words.
- Learn the characteristics of roots and of affixes: origin, meaning, grammatical function.
- Guess (or recall) the meaning of unfamiliar words from the clues given by word parts.
- Recognize the relationship among words that share a common root or affix.
- Recognize and use patterns of word change (e.g., cept, -ceive).
- Improve spelling by gaining awareness of the internal logic of words.
- Increase vocabulary, cultivate morphological awareness–and enjoy the English language.
- Fulfill Common Core (CCSS) ELA Literacy standards.
Three views of the Word Parts data
1) Dictionary entries:
More than 8000 Wordsmyth dictionary entries now display information about the word parts that make up the headword. In the new Word Parts section of the entry, the headword is broken down into its roots and affixes.
Each significant word part is identified and its origin, type, and meaning provided. The user can also here view a list of other example words containing the word part, and jump to those words’ dictionary entries to explore further. “More about this word part” notes explain in more detail how particular affixes combine with bases to form words.
2) A-Z Word Parts Page:
In addition to the dictionary entry Word Parts feature, where the composition of a word can be studied in the context of looking up a word, the user can search, sort, and browse more than 600 roots and affixes at the A-Z Word Parts page (under Search Tools menu).
3) Search Filters:
Finally, for a view of all the words that have word parts information, the Search Filter page (under the Search Tools menu) will display them in an alphabetical browsable format. Simply select “word parts information.”
Word Parts Data in Word Explorer Children’s Dictionary
Word Explorer Children’s Dictionary users have these same three modes of access to roots and affixes information, but with the example words limited to the headwords in the Children’s Dictionary. To maximize flexibility, there are links to the complete Word Parts Database from any point in the Children’s Word Parts data. In the case of roots and affixes that have no example words in the Children’s Dictionary, the word part and information about it can still be found in the Children’s Dictionary A-Z Word Parts look up.
For a general introduction to the terms and concepts used in our Word Parts database, see this downloadable pdf http://dev.wordsmyth.net/testdir/web_site/help/WordPartsGuide.pdf.
About the Word(s) of the Day
Every weekday we feature two words: Word of the Day and Academic Vocabulary of the Day. The rationale and target audience for each is different.
Academic Vocabulary of the Day is aimed at intermediate to advanced English language learners and middle and high school native speakers who need exposure to Tier 2 academic vocabulary words.
The words are selected from the 2000 most frequent general academic vocabulary words in American English. These 2000 words come from Mark Davies’ analysis of published academic texts in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. This academic vocabulary list is comparable to Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL), but is based on 120 million words of academic texts in the 425 million word corpus. Words are considered to be general academic vocabulary if they fulfill these criteria:
They appear at least 50% more frequently in academic texts than in non-academic texts.
Across disciplines, they appear more frequently than in non-academic texts. In other words, they are words important in all academic domains, rather than specialized, domain-specific technical terms.
Finally, they are among the 2000 most frequent of these general academic terms–the core.
Because the context in which the Academic Vocabulary Word of the Day will be most useful is academic writing, we also highlight the sense or senses of these words that are most frequently used in academic discourse. For example, the verb “conduct” has an important meaning of “leading an orchestra,” and a specialized meaning in the study of electricity, yet in the context of general academic vocabulary, the most important meaning is “to carry out or lead,” as in “conduct a study/investigation/seminar.”
The Academic Vocabulary of the Day words belong to the Tier 2 words which have been identified as of especial importance in the Common Core State Standards.
Word of the Day
Word of the Day covers less frequent, more advanced Tier 2 words, useful for SAT study and for acquiring a wider and deeper knowledge of English words. The Word of the Day is drawn from levels 3 to 5 (grades 7-12+) of the Wordsmyth Vocabulary Index (WVI), a forthcoming resource covering vocabulary words for K-12+ in five levels. WOTD is often accompanied by images, quotations from literature, or other aids to word learning, such as Greek and Latin roots and endings.
Wordsmyth offers a free school subscription for 2013-14 school year
Wordsmyth loves teachers. Teachers make up a significant portion of our user base, and developing literacy and vocabulary tools and resources that serve the needs of classrooms motivates much of what Wordsmyth is planning for the future.
Earlier this year, we introduced a paid subscription option for individual users who want the benefit of premium features. A paid educational group subscription is in the pipeline, but to allow teachers and their students to try the premium subscription features, we are offering a free educational group subscription for the 2013-14 school year. Members of a subscribed school will have access to an ad-free site with a dedicated school URL, and other premium features such as unlimited saving and sharing of activities, use of up to 50 words in activities, Spanish support, and more.
In addition, subscribed schools will also have free use of new content and tools that will become available in the next few months: the extensive Wordsmyth Word Parts (roots and affixes) reference integrated with dictionary entries, and powerful search filters that allow users to perform focused dictionary searches to more easily generate subsets of the dictionary for specific purposes.
Enrollment in the free educational group subscription is a quick, easy process. Send us a request right now, or view a list of subscription features here.
There is also a FAQ about how the free school subscription works.
In Latin, focus means “hearth” or “fireplace.” It entered English in the 1600s as a word for the point where rays of light meet. The meaning “center of activity or energy” came into use in the 1700s. Because the hearth was for centuries the center of home life, it is not surprising that, today, several of the meanings of focus have something to do with a center or meeting point.
If you enjoyed this word history, try looking up these words in the Word Explorer Dictionary for Children: weird, compassion, barbecue, curfew, and gossip. Some of these histories will surprise you!