Decoding and Encoding English Words: A Handbook for Language Tutors by Dr. Thomas Baldwin Jones might well be termed "A Book for all Linguistic Reasons" since it is as equally appropriate as a college text for introduing new reading teachers to the phonetic-rule basis of English, as an intorduction for the young linguist, as supplementary material for the speech therapist, as a reference in the whole-language classroom, as a vocabulary enhancement for the ACT or SAT test taker, as a parental reference for aiding a child's linguistic development (especially the home schoolers), as a guide for the conscientious student wanting to make independent progress in the language, as a resource for the ambitious adult who just wants to learn more about the nature and structre of English, as a guide for the adult and senior classroom reading help volunteers, as it is for tutors and teachers of students with special language problems. A perusal of Decoding and Encoding English Words will reveal unusually complete presentations of phonics, spelling rules, grammar, the prefixes, roots and suffixes of Old English, Latin and Greek, borrowings from other languages, words from names and places, a short history of the English language, a consideration of Black English Vernacular, and more. An added bonus is the inclusion of a mini-card drill pack.
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After tutoring dozens of language students from first grade through graduate school, Dr. Jones perceived a need for an ordered, comprehesive guide to this endeavor, a sort of teacher's manual which might ensure thorougness, logical progression and a general overview of our marvelous language, English. There would need to be an exhaustive investigation of the phonetic nature of the language along with near exhaustive word lists for documentation and practice. One does not write such a tract off the top of one's head, so Dr. Jones went through his favorite family dictionary marking all Latin derivations in red, Greek inBlue and Old English with marginal notes. Words beginning with mis-, ambi- or endo-, words containing -ai-, -eu- or -du-, words ending in -tion, -ciate- or -que, words showing various pronunciations of a, ou or i and so on were noted until the index card stack exceeded eighteen inches in height. To insure some intellectual order to this material, Dr. Jones savored university classes in Latin, Greek, French, German, History of English, Linguistics, Phonology, Structure of English, Comparative Grammar, Language Disabilities and Black English Vernacular. Over a seven year period Decoding and Encoding English Words: A Handbook for Language Tutors gradually assumed its present form.
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