Word of the Week Project - Extended Opportunity Programs and Services

Why is learning new words important for a college student?

Learning new words can heighten students’ literary awareness, broaden their knowledge base, improve their acumen in the world of academia, and augment their writing and communication skills. Learning new words can provide a framework to enhance understanding of written documents, oral presentations, and boost confidence when interfacing with others from various academic levels- from a contextual perspective.

Each week students will be emailed a “word of the week” and will be encouraged to incorporate the word as often as possible when communicating others. At the end of each semester, a comprehensive written quiz is administered by the CARE Coordinator to review and measure retention of all the new words learned during the current semester.

Student Learning Outcome
Ohlone College CARE Students Learning Outcome (SLO) Activity Assessment Strategy Ohlone College Institutional Goal Met: #2
CARE students will develop and increase vocabulary which will aid in increasing their knowledge base outside of the classroom. Students will receive emails each week informing them of the word of the week. Students will demonstrate improvement through written and oral quizzes. Develop across the curriculum the Learning College Model, utilizing methods and technologies that hold the most promise for improving student course and program completion success rates.

Words of the Week learned since Fall 2009 to present…

Enjoy learning!

Words of the Week
Word Definition Sentence Example
Bane A person or thing that ruins or spoils.  
Specious Apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible:  Pleasing to the eye but deceptive.  
Scintilla A minute, particle; spark; trace.  
Lament To feel or express sorrow or regret for; to mourn for or over.  
Incontrovertible Not open to question or dispute; indisputable.  
Infectious Caused by or capable of being transmitted She has an infectious smile.
Amicable Friendly, peaceable Their divorce was amicable.
Querulous Complaining, whining Having a querulous attitude doesn’t accomplish anything.
Mundane Every day, ordinary, commonplace Doing the same job every day can be mundane.
Ostentatious Intended to attract notice and impress others His speaking ability is ostentatious.
Capricious Governed or characterized by impulse or whim; to change suddenly Spontaneous personalities can be very capricious.
Fait Accompli An accomplished fact; a thing already done The increase in tuition was fait accompli long before the first day of classes.
Paucity Smallness of quantity; scarcity A country with a paucity of resources.
Pejorative To belittle; to put down Intentional and unintentional comments can ruin a friendship.
Perspicacious Having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning; insight Reading mystery novels requires one to be a little perspicacious.
Predilection A tendency to think favorably of something in particular; preference I have a predilection for chocolate.
Quid pro quo Something that is given or taken in return for something else; substitute Quid pro quo is a strategy used by many lawyers.
Quixotic Extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical; The young woman dumped her sickeningly quixotic boyfriend and ran off with the unreserved jester.
Solipsism Extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires; egoistic, self-absorption Many people in Hollywood deal with solipsism every day.
Eschew To avoid I eschew greasy foods as much as possible.
Vanquished To overcome I have vanquished my need for acceptance by others
Pelt To rush or beat with repeated forceful blows The wind pelted against the window with a thrust.
Coffer A box or check, one for valuables succeed, proceed, precede, recede, secession, exceed, succession, excess
Proclivity Natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity The little girl has the proclivity to bite her nails when she is nervous.
Copula Something that connects or links together Copula is a term used a lot in English classes.
Eradicate To remove or destroy utterly The fight to eradicate poverty and hunger is ongoing.
Succor To provide relief The Red Cross has provided succor for many families who were victims of a natural disaster.
Conundrum A riddle, the answer is a pun or play on words. What is black and white and read all over?
Bestirred To stir up; arouse to action He bestirred himself every day to practice playing the piano.
Duplicity Speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive He exposed the spy’s duplicity
Egregious Extraordinary in some bad way She made an egregious mistake. He is an egregious liar
Histrionics Deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional, overly dramatic, in behavior or speech He’s such an effective guitar player, he doesn’t need the histrionics.
Placate To appease or pacify The man purchased a lollipop to placate his irritable son.
Redress The setting right of what is wrong The government should redress many of the social injustices that have occurred in our society.
Respite A delay or cessation for a time, an interval of relief The torrential rain continued for days without respite.
Trepidation Tremulous Fear Hearing that we would be having a mean substitute teacher for the rest of the week filled me with trepidation.
Conundrum A riddle, the answer is a pun or play on words. What is black and white and read all over?
Bestirred To stir up; arouse to action He bestirred himself every day to practice playing the piano.
Duplicity Speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive He exposed the spy’s duplicity
Egregious Extraordinary in some bad way She made an egregious mistake. He is an egregious liar
Histrionics Deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional, overly dramatic, in behavior or speech He’s such an effective guitar player, he doesn’t need the histrionics.

Of the total number of students enrolled in the CARE program  41% (eight students) participated by taking the Fall 2009 “Word of the Week”  end of the semester quiz.  Here are the results.

Question Correct Answer Incorrect Answer
1 7 - 87% 1 – 12.5%
2 7 – 87.5% 1 – 12.5%
3 6 – 75% 2- 25%
4 8 – 100%  
5 7 – 87% 1 – 12.5%
6 3– 37.5% 5-62.5%