From act to action

Morphological analyses and vocabulary development

inter  +  act  –> interact

inter  +  act  +  s  –>   interacts

inter  +  act  +  ed  –>   interacted

inter  +  act   +  ing  –>  interacting

inter  +  act  +  ion  –>  interaction

pro + act  +  ive  –>  proactive

en  +  act  –> enact

en  + act  + ed  –>  enacted

trans  +  act  –>  transact

trans  +  act  +  s –> transacts

trans  +  act  +  ed  –>  transacted

trans  +  act  +  ing  –>  transacting

trans  +  act  +  ion  –>  transaction

act  +  ive  –> active

act  +  ive  + ate  –>  activate

act  +  ive + ate + s  –>  activates

act  +  ive + ate + ed  –>  activated

re  +  act  + ive  + ate  –>  reactivate

Using the above matrix of the base <act>, see how many words you can build.

You may take a single prefix plus the base and add suffixes to see how many words you can come up with.

Using the single base <act>, you can build close to fifty words.  Note that not every word that can be derived from the base <act> is represented on the above matrices. Words like enactment, deactivate, reactionary, etc are not represented here. However, you can expand the matrix to include them once you become comfortable with using a matrix. On the other hand, it is not always necessary to include all possible derivatives of a base on a single matrix. You must only include elements that will help you build words that you can use in constructing sentence. The idea is to develop the skills that will help you enrich your vocabulary and consequently the quality of your writing.

Morphology is the most effective tool or concept for instilling vocabulary learning skills among students. Once you get used to what is sometimes called ‘morphological problem-solving’ or ‘morphological analyses’ you can acquire a large number of vocabulary using your knowledge of bases and affixes. If you know the meaning of ‘act’, you can easily guess the meaning of ‘active’ , ‘action’ or ‘react‘ once you connect them to a single base.  Can you tell the connection between ‘act’ and ‘proactive’?  You don’t have to acquire vocabulary one word at a time.

Matrix as a tool for Differentiation in the classroom

The matrix can be used as an effective tool for differentiation in the classroom or even at home. Some people can build a few simple words depending on their ability using a simple matrix while others use a more advanced version that includes a lot of elements that allow for the building of more advanced vocabulary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: