Our bestselling vocabulary program is going digital! Prestwick House is proud to present our new program, Vocabulary Power Plus Online, an innovative digital counterpart to our popular Vocabulary Power Plus: College and Career Readiness series! To get the inside scoop, we sat down with the Prestwick House editorial team for a quick question-and-answer session.

Why is vocabulary instruction relevant to students' lives?

Students with a comprehensive vocabulary will undoubtedly excel in other areas of ELA education, including reading comprehension and standardized testing. Beyond academia, though, vocabulary is language; it's communication, conversation, and interaction. Students will more artfully and easily connect with each other and the world at large when equipped with a rich vocabulary.

What are the benefits of teaching vocabulary in a digital format?

It's all about engagement and convenience! Essentially, we're taking a methodology we know works well and moving it to a space that appeals to our digitally native students and gives them a feeling of independence. Additionally, because the program is completely online, learning can take place anywhere in the world. And its structure—learning for just a few minutes a day—allows for more flexibility for educators.

What's different about Vocabulary Power Plus Online compared to its print sibling?

Vocabulary Power Plus Online—or as we call it, VPPO—has a deep, exclusive focus on vocabulary instruction. While the print books include test prep components, VPPO uses the vocabulary from Vocabulary Power Plus to create a fun and interactive digital learning experience. To offer more rigorous instruction, VPPO includes some new content, but still generally adheres to the structure of the print version.

Can you break down the structure of VPPO?

Sure! We've created easy-to-use courses for 9th-12th grade that break the lessons into small chunks, so students need to focus on only five new words at a time. Each short lesson includes four main activities:

  • Learn (an overview of the words)
  • Practice (a non-graded "playground" for trial and error)
  • Show (a workspace to practice with multiple-choice questions)
  • Apply (graded context-based activities)

After each lesson, there is an end-of-unit assessment that tests students' knowledge of the definitions for all the words and includes synonym/antonym exercises for select words.

Just for fun: Name one of your favorite vocabulary words in the series, and tell us why you love it!

Keith (President): Ameliorate. I just love the way the vowel sounds flow into each other.

Scott (Editorial Director): I'm a big fan of faux because "I just made a faux pas" sounds much nicer than "I just put my foot in my mouth." It's also a great way to use an x in Scrabble.

Darlene (Project Editor): Serendipity. There's a lot to love about the word serendipity: It's fun to say, and there's a playfulness to it. It's a happy word, too—good things come from it. We could all use some serendipity!

Rachel (Associate Editor): Dun, DUN, DUNNNNN! It's got to be crescendo. It usually pertains to music, and I found myself using it a whole lot in my college days as part of an a cappella group. Who doesn't love the drama and excitement of a crescendo?

Josh (Writer and Educator): Curmudgeon. Like Shakespeare says, "To thine own self be true."

Kim (Writer and Educator): I learned the word kindred while reading L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables as a child. Anne refers to another character as a kindred spirit, or someone who seems to instantly understand and accept her without needing explanation. It's as if they share some deep quality and recognize it in one another. The word still brings that early reading experience to my mind and brings up positive memories of crossing paths with important figures in my own life.