Vocabulary Building with Roots and Affixes - Germanic Roots I

This 10-hour course, part of a multi-course series, teaches learners to identify, understand, & apply knowledge of several hundred high-utility Germanic root words, which signal core meanings of thousands of English words.
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60 minutes

per class

Once per week

over 10 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
1. Learners will understand the history of the English language and how that history has affected the English lexicon.
2. Learners will discuss the size of the English lexicon and understand roughly what percentage of that lexicon can be traced back to which older languages.
3. Learners will understand the terms root (base, stem), affix, prefix, and suffix..
4. Learners will brainstorm about, research, and share back English derivatives of several hundred words of Germanic origin, organized into topical categories.
5. Learners will learn how to construct dictionary-like definitions of these derived words, based on these words’ morphemic and etymological elements.
6. Learners will work co-operatively in small groups.
7. Learners will create shared notes-packets in the Google Slides app.
8. Learners will share-back their findings in written and oral format.
9. Learners will develop lifelong curiosity about word origins and meanings.
10. Learners will apply their knowledge of studied Germanic word elements to their recognition and spelling of words.
I am a dedicated and creative literacy specialist and language buff with 20+years experience working with students of all ages. I have been teaching on the Outschool platform for five years. In addition to this Vocabulary Building with Roots and Affixes five-course series, I also teach a nine-course Introduction to Latin series using the Latin for Children curricula, Primer A, B, and C and a 12-course series called Multisensory Phonics. I also work individually with literacy learners and Latin-language students on Outschool.

I hold permanent certification from New York State in Reading (grades K-12). I am also a certified Wilson Reading System dyslexia practitioner. I have extensive experience with Orton-Gow methods for literacy re/mediation; the foundation for that work was the introductory training I received through the Gow Teacher Training Institute. I taught Orton-Gow (Reconstructive Language) at the Gow School and the Gow School Summer Program for several years. During the decade I spent as a teacher educator and university reading center director, I helped to prepare several hundred reading teachers and literacy specialists in NY and PA. 

I completed my undergraduate degree at The Catholic University of America School of Music. My doctoral and master’s degrees were earned at the University at Buffalo School of Education, under the advisement of Dr. Michael W. Kibby, a nationally known literacy diagnostician and scholar.  I have presented my research at several national and international conferences, including Literacy Research Association, International Reading Association, and International Dyslexia Association.
Each week, learners will be asked to select a word element from the Google Slides document to research. By brainstorming and using provided pre-screened weblinks, learners will cultivate lists of English words derived from the target word element and, when the words are unusual or unfamiliar, write dictionary-like definitions for those words. Then during the next class, learners will share back their findings so the class can discuss and build on them together. Application of morphological knowledge is also fostered through spelling dictation.
Class handouts (think-sheets, notes, learning activities) will be provided by the instructor. Please download the Google Slides app to your device(s) before class begins.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Formal assessment is not conducted during this class. Likewise, none of the assignments are graded. Instead, I make a written record of my insights during each session. I communicate these observations with students and parents every few weeks or more frequently, as needed. 
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
I use the Google Slides app during my sessions as a shared space to present new content to students, prompt their thinking, and capture this thinking in writing. The Google Slides app allows multiple users to read and write simultaneously on slides. 
The links to these files are sent to the students via the Zoom chat feature and posted on the classroom page. Students are not required to create Google accounts and they can write in shared files anonymously. However, if they want those files to be saved long-term in their Google Drives or in their parents’ Google Drives, they will need to request file access from the instructor.

The Quizlet app is used occasionally in class and between classes to study root and affixes meanings and derived vocabulary and to practice spelling. The instructor has a professional subscription and makes study sets. Links to those study sets are provided to students. During class, students sometimes play QuizletLive using game links shared during class. Students are not required to create Quizlet accounts and they can play Quizlet games under pseudonyms if they choose.
During class, I often guide students as they research the etymologies of words. The main sources we use for etymological research are the Oxford English Dictionary, Etymology Online, Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. I also provide students with pre-screen links to resources they can use to compile lists of words derived from specific word elements.


Dr. Karen Wieland (Literacy/dyslexia & Latin)Highly experienced literacy specialist; Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner; Latin language teacher
386 total reviews
276 completed classes

About Me


My name is Dr. Karen Wieland. I am a NYS-certified teacher (Reading K-12) and a former high-school teacher and college professor with 25+ years of teaching experience. I currently run a thriving independent practice as a dyslexia/literacy... 
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