Language is at the core of any intellectual activity. Our ability to understand ideas and express those ideas is limited by our knowledge of language. Imagine visiting a foreign country, where you have a very limited understanding of the language - this is bewildering and overwhelming, and even the communication of basic ideas (the location of the bathroom, for example) can be very difficult and fraught with anxiety. It is the same when we encounter a new academic discipline, and are overloaded with new names and terms, many of which seem foreign, incomprehensible, and ultimately overwhelming.
This class will not help you navigate a foreign country, but it will help you build your knowledge of the English language so that you can understand academic terminology - focusing on medical and scientific terminology - more easily, and use that terminology to express ideas.
How will we do this? Rather than focusing on memorizing individual words, we will dissect words - and through doing, learn how to elicit a word's meaning through analyzing its constituent parts, as well as how to synthesize words from those parts. 60% of our medical and scientific language is derived from ancient Greek and Latin - by learning the meanings of word elements derived from those languages, you can comprehend an exponentially greater volume of English terms.
This class is geared towards medical and scientific terminology; fields which have mind boggling amounts of vocabulary to master, and in which precision and accuracy are vital. In the medical and veterinary fields, for example, the difference of a single letter can change the meaning of a word, indicating a completely different diagnosis, procedure, or drug. Learning to dissect and synthesize the English language will also help you in other disciplines, however, as many academic disciplines have terminology derived from Greek and Latin.
Ultimately, this class will help you to better understand those ideas which are communicated to you, and to express ideas to others with precision and accuracy, both verbally and in writing.
- Instructor: Bonnie Rock-McCutcheon