J. Robinson
Learning Centre

Understanding Vocabulary in Context VS2.20

If English is your second language, when you read, you may find many words you don’t understand. It is not good to look up every new word in the dictionary. If you look up every word, your reading is interrupted. You lose track of the ideas. Also, you do not remember the new words. When you read them again, you often just have to look them up again in the dictionary.

A better way to read is to guess what most of the new words mean. This is a natural way to learn language. You may not guess the exact meaning the first time you see a new word, but you can get a general meaning. When you see the word again in other situations (contexts), you can improve your understanding of the word. When you guess the meaning of the word, you think actively. This helps you to remember the word.

When you want to guess a word’s meaning, it helps if you know what part of speech it is. Is it a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb? You need to know the word’s function in the sentence. If you find that difficult, you should do the Learning Centre Handout VS6.10 Word Forms – Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Adverbs before you work on this handout.

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