"Give them the gift of words"


Word of the Day: Corroborate

Categories: ESL Vocabulary, SAT Vocabulary, Vocabulary Building Words, Vocabulary for Success, Vocabulary Improvement Tips, Vocabulary Resources |

According to a published paper on employment trends, the United States Department of Labor noted that while vocabulary scores on the SAT have gone down on average, and 1 in 5 Americans have only minimal English reading ability, employers today “demand more skills than they did in the past.” Getting ready to enter the job market isn’t a process that starts in the last years of school, either. As University of Michigan professor Susan Neuman explained in several research journals over the past few years, children who start school with a poor vocabulary will generally fall behind, and stay behind, the other students, and that this gap continues through school and beyond. And the studies and statistics cited by E. D. Hirsch in a recent article in City Journal corroborate the link between a good vocabulary and a good earning potential in the job market. There really isn’t any reason not to study vocabulary!

Here’s a word for you to learn today: corroborate. It means to confirm or support something, or to lend strength to something. A scientist who makes a chance discovery will repeat the experiment to get additional results to corroborate the evidence from the first test. Judges and lawyers question as many witnesses as possible to corroborate the testimony provided by both an accuser and a defendant. When you look at the history of the word, you’ll see that it has its basis in the Latin word robus, or “strength.” That’s the origin of the word robust as well. Keep these words in mind when you’re tempted to set aside your vocabulary study, and you’ll get new strength to move ahead and keep going to learn just one more word … and then another, and another. Each word you learn adds to the solid foundation you need to build your vocabulary so that you have the skills today’s employers are looking for.

As a parent, you’ll also be able to help your children succeed with good vocabulary and communication skills that they’ll need in school and in their own work life in the future. If you’re learning English as a second language, it’s important that you focus on getting up to speed quickly on correct grammar and usage as well as vocabulary. A site like Learn English 232 is perfect for focusing on learning and using English like a native speaker. A good English vocabulary will help you reach the top and stay there – test it out for yourself, and you’ll quickly get confirmation that it works.

References: Lerman, R. and Schmidt, S. An overview of economic, social, and demographic trends affecting the US labor market. United States Department of Labor.
Neuman, S. The Knowledge Gap: Implications for Early Education. Handbook of Early Literacy Research: Vol. II
Hirsch, Jr., E.D. A Wealth of Words. City Journal, Vol. 23, No. 1