Thursday, May 12, 2011

April 1990: Vocabulary in Context

Question: How can teachers help students learn the advantages of context in understanding the meanings of words?

Answer: Teacher selects key vocabulary from a basal story. Teacher has children prepare index cards with each word, its meaning and a sentence that provides a clue to meaning through its context. The teacher provides that sentence. Otherwise, students, on their own, might not provide a real context clue. Finally, the teacher prepares a two-paragraph cloze text, deleting every fifth or tenth word from a passage, which the students complete.

The author sums up the value of this technique as follows: “It provides vocabulary practice in contexts which are current and personally meaningful. It gives students several chances to study each word methodically. It reinforces the concept that the purpose of reading is to get meaning from the story.” P. 613.

Comment: This technique actually gives students experience with context clues that provide help with the meanings of words. RayS.

Title: “Putting Vocabulary in Context.” Barbara De Serres. Reading Teacher (April 1990), 612-613.

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