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Context Clues

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Provides an introduction to using context clues to find the meaning of words while reading

Provides an introduction to using context clues to find the meaning of words while reading

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  • 1. Context Clues Mack Gipson, Jr. Tutorial and Enrichment Center Gayla S. Keesee Education Specialist
  • 2. Building Word Awareness
    • Context Clues
      • Definition
        • Synonyms
        • Restatement
      • Contrast
      • Explanation
      • Examples
      • Inference
  • 3. What is Context?
    • Most Americans can speak only one ________. Europeans, however, ________ several. As a result, Europeans think ________ are unfriendly and unwilling to communicate with them.
    • Try to figure out the missing words.
  • 4. What is Context?
    • Most Americans can speak only one language . Europeans, however, speak several. As a result, Europeans think Americans are unfriendly and unwilling to communicate with them.
    • How did you do? How did you figure out the missing words?
  • 5. What is Context?
    • Use the words surrounding the unknown word to help determine the unknown word’s meaning.
    • “ Phobias , such as fear of heights, water, or confined spaces are difficult to eliminate.”
  • 6. Context Clues: Definition
    • Unknown word is defined immediately following its use
      • brief definition , synonym , or restatement using punctuation -commas, parentheses or dashes.
    • “ Be” verb shows the two ideas are the same. X = Y
    • A chemical bond is a strong force that holds two or more atoms together.
    • A dialect is a form of speech from a specific region.
  • 7. Synonyms
    • A writer often choose a more familiar word or words with the same meaning to make the difficult word understandable
    Ballet students appear so lithe ; they are so limber and flexible. The cataract was spectacular; the steep waterfall dropped abruptly eighty feet.
  • 8. Restatement
    • Close to a synonym, restatement differs in that a difficult word is usually restated in a simpler form—usually set of by commas .
    The poetry was sublime , lofty and moving, and brought tears to my eyes. The village was depopulated , most of the residents dead or moved, but the livestock remained untouched.
  • 9. Contrast
    • Antonym , a word of opposite meaning (notice the restatement)
    • Contrast clue words: but, however , in contrast to, on the other hand
    • The gentleman was portly , but his wife was thin .
    • The mayoral candidate praised the town council,but the mayor deprecated it.
  • 10. Explanation
    • Similar to a definition clue
    • Generally longer than a definition
    • Usually found in one or more different sentences
  • 11. Context Clues: Explanation
    • The chrome is beginning to corrode . It shows signs of pitting and of being eaten away gradually.
    • It was a martial parade: signs of the military were everywhere. Everyone was in uniform; guns, cannon and tanks were on display, and jets flew overhead.
  • 12. Context Clues: Explanation
    • NOTE: Sometimes the explanation is presented first.
      • The puppy was a complete bother and an annoyance to all the neighbors. It was a continual nuisance .
  • 13. Example
    • Examples that the reader may know to help explain a new and unfamiliar concept or term
    • Note the punctuation clues: commas or hyphens
    • Signal words— such as, for example, for instance, to illustrate, specifically
    • Legumes , such as peas and beans, produce pods.
    • Forest floors are frequently covered with fungi — molds, mushrooms, and mildews.
  • 14. Inference
    • Use reasoning and prior knowledge
    • Your experiences provide common-sense clues to the meaning of a word
    • This context clue is often a little harder to spot
    • Since Reginald was nervous, he brought his rabbit foot talisman with him to the exam.
    • His alibi was upheld when John’s friends offered personal testimony, letters of documentation, and three videotapes showing that he was present at the party.
  • 15. Limitations of Context Clues
    • Context clues only give the immediate definition for that particular context.
    • Context clues seldom lead to a precise, complete definition.
    • Sometimes the passage will not contain clues to the meaning of the unfamiliar word.
  • 16. Applying What You Have Learned
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Name the context clue that helped you?
    • What was the signal word that helped?
    • He seemed quite free and easy with a few friends, but at large parties he was quite inhibited .
  • 17.
    • The definition of the unfamiliar word is “ controlled , restrained .”
    • The context clue was contrast .
    • The signal word was “ but .”
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 18.
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Can you name the specific context clue that helped you?
    • Embassies typically follow well-established protocols , or accepted procedures, for seating guests at a government dinner.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 19.
    • The definition of protocol is a set of rules or procedures.
    • The context clue is “ definition ,” with some help from the commas – restatement
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 20.
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Can you name the specific context clue that helped you?
    • Corona refers to the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere.
    • Facets -small flat surfaces at different angles- bring out the beauty of a diamond.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 21.
    • First: context clue is a straight definition .
    • Second: context clue is definition — restatement . Notice the punctuation helps.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 22. Applying What You Have Learned
    • Most condiments , such as pepper, mustard and catsup, are used to improve the flavor of foods.
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Can you name the specific context clue that helped you?
  • 23.
    • A condiment is a flavor enhancer used to spice up foods.
    • The context clue was an example clue. Notice the signal phrase—such as.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 24.
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Can you name the specific context clue that helped you?
    • Some city dwellers are affluent ; others live in poverty.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 25. Applying What You Have Learned
    • The definition of affluent is “ rich , wealthy .”
    • The context clue is contrast .
  • 26.
    • Can you define the unfamiliar word?
    • Can you name the specific context clue that helped you?
    • The wallabies at the zoo looked like kangaroos.
    Applying What You Have Learned
  • 27.
    • A wallaby is a small kangaroo .
    • The context clue could be example or inference .
    Applying What You Have Learned