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The vocabulary books are based on Latin stems (as well as some Greek stems at the higher levels) as the foundation for English academic language. Learning the meanings of the stems allows students to figure out the meanings of words that contain those stems, even if they have never seen those words before.
In addition to a focus on etymology, not memorization, most of the books also feature interdisciplinary content. The majority of them include historical information about ancient Rome, providing a link between the Latin fragments that make up so many of our words and the ancient civilizations that make up so much of our culture today. As a special treat, the books also contain a wealth of photographs of ancient buildings, sculptures, and artifacts, which are particularly beautiful in the full-color editions of the Caesar’s English and The Word Within the Word books.
“It is a profoundly interdisciplinary vocabulary curriculum, methodically interweaving the vocabulary of science, mathematics, history, literature, art, and other disciplines into a great vocabulary fabric that will make students better in every subject and prepare them for advanced college and professional vocabulary like no other curriculum ever has.”
– Michael Clay Thompson
The lessons in these books are intended as a weekly effort built on a cumulative basis. Every test reinforces every list that the students have encountered. Through constant review, students build ever-increasing familiarity with the words, which will enable them to adopt the words into their own vocabularies, expanding their ability to express themselves clearly and to communicate effectively.