Context Clues

Category: Education

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Using context clues for meaning


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Context Clues:

Context Clues Prof. C. Sarmiento

What are context clues?:

What are context clues? Words can have different meanings in a sentence depending on the purpose of the writer. The context clues provide information for the readers that help them interpret the intended meaning or message. Readers should not focus on understanding every word in the sentence. R ather, they should try comprehending the text in a general sense. Context clues enable the reader to make logical guesses as to what the meaning of the text might be.

What is context?:

What is context? Context refers to all of the information regarding the topic being read. A minor detail can greatly change the way a reader views the content. Missing information can lead to misconceptions about the topic at hand. Reading in context is used to fully understand the message intended for the reader. Reading out of context can change the meaning of a text entirely.

Reading out of context:

Reading out of context Take the following sentence for example: Ramon took the money and quickly ran away. What conclusion can you make about Ramon by reading that sentence?

Reading in context:

Reading in context Now lets use all of the information so we can read in context. As he took his money from the ATM machine, Ramon noticed there was a man walking towards him. The man seemed to have a weapon concealed in his jacket. Ramon took the money and quickly ran away. What conclusion can you make about Ramon now that you have all of the information? How is it different from when you originally read it out of context?

Using Context Clues for Meaning:

Using Context Clues for Meaning English as a second language readers may have trouble understanding the meaning of new words. That is why they should use the context clues in the text to decipher what the word means. The words in the text itself will help you understand the general concept allowing you to logically guess what the word means.

Deducing Meaning:

Deducing Meaning Read the following example: I took the tome off the shelf and opened it to page 94. Then I began to read . What can tome mean? Use the context clues to decipher the meaning. It says. “page 94”. What has pages? It says, “I began to read.” What do you read? It says he took it off the shelf. What things do you know that have pages and you can read that can be put on a shelf?

Practice Exercise :

Practice Exercise The tiger's roar could be heard in villages far away. What does roar probably mean? A ) food a tiger eats B ) a tiger's dream C ) a tiger's ear D ) a sound a tiger makes

Practice Exercise:

Practice Exercise The idea of eating a rat is abhorrent to most people. What does abhorrent probably mean ? A ) fun, lively B ) horrible, repugnant C ) delicious, tasty D ) sweet, sugary

Practice Exercise:

Practice Exercise Wally has so many friends because she is a gregarious person. What does gregarious probably mean? A ) introverted, self-contained B ) shy, quiet C ) friendly, outgoing D ) rude, hostile

Practice Exercise:

Practice Exercise When Sara was sick, her voice was almost inaudible . We couldn't hear what she was trying to say clearly. What does inaudible probably mean? A ) very loud, easy to hear B ) very soft, hard to hear C ) very strange, uncommon D ) very shy, introverted

Practice Exercise:

Practice Exercise The hill was too arduous for us to climb. We had to walk our bicycles up the hill. What does arduous probably mean? A ) flat, boring B ) fun, exciting C ) easy, not challenging D ) difficult, steep


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