Akeelah learns about words' origins, and how, sometimes, big words are really just the combination of smaller words. Along the way, she begins to discover that understanding the context in which a word is used is more valuable than simply memorizing the definition.
Abraham reads excerpts from a song in Spanish to Selena. Since she doesn't speak Spanish, he translates words and phrases for her. They then have a talk in which Abraham encourages Selena to embrace her Mexican roots. He tells her that she can like both American and Mexican music; it doesn't have to be one or the other.