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Words in Context: Master SAT & ACT Vocabulary through Literature

Brooke Nelson
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Expand your vocabulary for the SAT and ACT through engaging literary passages, interactive exercises, and practical applications using word roots and contextual clues.

Class experience

US Grade 8 - 11
  • In this course, our focus is on building a robust vocabulary that not only helps you excel in standardized tests like the SAT and ACT but also enhances your overall language skills and appreciation for literature. Here are the specific learning goals we aim to achieve: 1) Vocabulary Expansion: Learn and internalize 5-10 new vocabulary words each session, drawing from a curated list that includes high-frequency SAT and ACT words as well as sophisticated terms found in classic and modern literature. 2) Understanding Word Origins: Gain a deeper understanding of how words are formed by studying their roots, prefixes, and suffixes. This knowledge will empower you to deduce the meanings of new words independently. 3) Contextual Usage: Develop the skill to use vocabulary correctly and effectively in various contexts. Through our reading and discussion of literary passages, you will learn how to infer the meaning of words based on the context in which they appear. 4) Literary Analysis: Enhance your ability to analyze and discuss literature by focusing on how vocabulary shapes meaning in texts. This will deepen your comprehension and appreciation of the works we read, broadening your cultural and historical knowledge. 5) Preparation for Standardized Tests: Through repetitive exposure and practice with test-level vocabulary, prepare effectively for the vocabulary components of the SAT and ACT, improving your potential scores. These goals are designed to make you a more articulate and perceptive reader, a more confident test-taker, and ultimately, a more effective communicator.
Over the past fourteen years as an educator, I have specialized in teaching subjects that are heavy on vocabulary skills: English and History. One of my areas of focus has always been increasing English vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension across various educational levels, particularly aiming to enhance students' test-taking skills and overall language proficiency.

My teaching approach is rooted in a combination of rigorous academic research and engaging, interactive learning experiences. I have designed and led numerous courses aimed at expanding students' vocabularies, understanding of word origins, and abilities to deduce meanings from context, crucial for excelling in standardized tests like the SAT and ACT.

In addition to my formal education, I continually update my teaching practices to incorporate the latest educational technologies and methodologies, ensuring that each class is both dynamic and effective. My personal enthusiasm for reading and language arts enriches the classroom experience, providing students with a passionate and knowledgeable guide as they explore the depths of the English language.

This blend of professional expertise, ongoing professional development, and a personal love for literature creates a comprehensive and stimulating learning environment for all students in "Words in Context”.
Some of the words or references may seem daunting if students have don’t have a lot of experience with “classic” literature before — but previous experience with these kinds of books is not a requirement!
This class uses literature to explore vocabulary, focusing on words commonly found in standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, as well as those that enhance literary comprehension. Each session explores words through engaging reading passages, interactive exercises, and discussions on word origins and usage.

While the content is primarily academic and designed to boost vocabulary skills, some reading passages may contain complex themes or historical contexts as they are drawn from a wide range of literature, including classic novels and influential writings. All content, however, is chosen for its educational value and is presented in a way that is appropriate for the target age group.

No official ratings are associated with the media used, as the materials are primarily educational texts. I ensure all content, including any literary excerpts, is reviewed to be suitable for young learners, focusing on enriching their vocabulary and understanding of language.

Parents are encouraged to review the vocabulary and reading passages discussed each week. Engaging in discussions at home about the new words and their contexts can further support their child’s learning and appreciation of language. This also provides an opportunity to discuss any mature themes in a supportive environment, enhancing the educational experience.
Joined January, 2021
After I earned a bachelor's in history from the University of California, Riverside, I went on to complete a master's in history at the University of California, Irvine and a Ph.D. in Religion from Claremont Graduate University. I currently teach... 
Group Class


1x per week
55 min

Live video meetings
Ages: 13-18
3-12 learners per class

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