Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
RD 116
Course Title:
College Vocabulary Development
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Adds significantly to students' reading, writing, and speaking vocabularies, fosters interest in words, and offers strategies for continuous vocabulary development throughout life. Prerequisite: Placement into RD 115 or successful completion of RD 90. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

After successful completion of Reading 116, students will be able to-

  • Understand the origins and influences of English
  • Understand the varieties of English
  • Understand the varying criteria for correctness and appropriateness of language use
  • Easily use the dictionary and other reference tools
  • Easily use context clues to determine word meanings
  • Distinguish between denotation and connotation
  • Understand the best method for assimilating academic, technical, and professional vocabularies
  • Continue to maintain personal vocabulary growth

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment may include, but is not limited to-

  1. Greek, Latin, and derivative tests/activities
  2. Quizzes on vocabulary and correct usage
  3. Midterm and comprehensive final
  4. Group/individual work demonstrating comprehension strategies
  5. Group/individual work demonstrating vocabulary usage
  6. Vocabulary journal/project from outside reading
  7. Other assessment activities may include:
    1. Conference with instructor
    2. Portfolio
    3. Individual projects, such as flash cards, service learning, lexicographic challenges

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes and Concepts:
Recurring themes and concepts that students will work with include-

  1. Etymology
  2. Greek and Latin roots/affixes
  3. History of English
  4. Comprehension
  5. Inferential and critical reading
  6. Standards of correctness
  7. Language research


  • Dictionary/reference skills
  • Vocabulary skills
  • Determining meaning from context
  • Determining meaning from word parts, most common Latin/Greek roots and affixes