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Some words are more worthy of study than others. Simply because a term is unknown doesn’t mean it’s worth instructional minutes. Sometimes words are too obscure and technical, appearing infrequently or only within certain topics. At other times words are unknown but appear frequently. Repetitive encounters with these words will aid in their eventual comprehension.

Preparing words for study requires evaluating them against two criteria: importance and usefulness. Important words are essential to understanding the text or topic of study. Comprehension will be delayed or even harmed if these words are not fully known. Useful words, on the other hand, extend beyond the immediate lesson. They find uses and application among a variety of contexts and disciplines. When words are both useful and important, they should be studied.

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