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Vocabulary in Context

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Marlen Slanker

on 11 July 2013

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Transcript of Vocabulary in Context

Elvira Schmidt & Marlen Borst
Vocabulary in Context
1. Vocabulary- General Information

2. How many words do I need to know?

3. What does Context mean?
What are Context Clues?

4. Types of context clues + examples
a)Synonym (Restatement clue)
b) Antonym (Contrast clue)
c) Examples
d) General Sense of the Sentence or Passage

5. 5 Step-Strategy

6. Exercise

7. Works cited
d) General Sense of the sentence or passage
Bauman, John (2013). About the University Word List. 2013. 10. June 2013. <http://jbauman.com/aboutUWL.html>.

Carter, Roland (2012). Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge Linguistics Classics.

Cervatiuc, Andreea (2008). ESL Vocabulary Acquisition: Target and Approach. 1. January 2008. 11. June2013.<http://iteslj.org/Articles/CervatiucVocabularyAcquisition.html>.

Kress, Fry (2000). The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists. 2000. 11. June 2013. <http://www.stclementacademy.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_178497/File/frequent_ used_word.pdf>.

The University of Hong Kong (2001). Vocabulary Profiler. 2001. 11. June 2013.

Townsend Press (2013). Vocabulary in Context. 2013. 11. June 2013.
<http://www.townsendpress.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/reading%20series/I5e_Chap 1_Vocab_SE.pdf>.

Victoria University of Wellington (2013). The Academic Word List. 2013. 10. June 2013.




7. Works Cited

quarter of a million distinct English words

university-educated native English speaker:
20,000 base words

highly proficient university-educated non-native English speaker:
13,500 base words

adult learners of English as a second language:
2650 base words per year

1. Vocabulary: General Information

Instant words (1000 – 2000 words)

Academic Word List (AWL), (Coxhead 1997)

remaining words in Nation's (1984) University Word List (UWL) not included in the AWL

specific vocabulary

 Example: Vocabulary Profiler


2. How many words do I need to know?

3. What does Context mean?
a) the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specified word or passage and can influence its meaning or effect.

b) the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event. situation, etc.

c) words around other words that help determine the meaning
Context Clues
Taken from: http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/bradhallart/bradhallart0905/bradhallart090500016/4919997-cartoon-detektiv-sucht-durch-lupe.jpg

Words or phrases in a sentence which help you find and understand the meaning of unfamiliar words...

(also: surrounding language)

How does it work?
Most writers leave context clues as they write.

It is the readers job to find them......
4. Types of Context Clues
There are 4 main types of Context Clues:

a)Synonym (Restatement clue)
b) Antonym (Contrast clue)
c) Examples
d) General Sense of the Sentence or Passage
working vocabulary
usage of words

Why using context clues to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words?

a) Synonym (Restatement Clue)
Definition: Another word or phrase with the same or a similar meaning is used.

Signals: in other words, that is, also known as, sometimes called, or

Example: The dromedary, commonly called a camel, stores fat in its hump.

The dromedary, commonly called a camel,

stores fat in its hump.
Word helps to
find original word
b) Antonyms (Contrast Clue)

The writer uses Synonym Context Clues to help with difficult words.
The writer uses Antonym Context Clues when he uses a word with opposite meaning to give the reader a hint about the word we might not know.
Definition: A word that means the opposite of another word

Signals: but, in contrast, however, instead of, unlike and yet

Example: Unlike his quite and low key family, Brad is garrulous.
Unlike his quite and low key family, Brad is garrulous.
The word we are looking
for is: chatty
suggest the meaning of an unknown word

“The adverse effects of this drug, including dizziness,
cancer and heart decease have caused it to be withdrawn from the market.”

What does adverse mean?

c) Examples

Adverse means harmful
marked by words like for example, for instance…

“The Chinese government provides incentives for married couples to have only one child. For example,
couples with one child get financial help and free medical care.”

Incentives means…

a. warnings
b. penalties
c. encouragements

Incentives means encouragements

“Initiative” means…
a. anger
b. willpower
c. ability to take charge


initiative means ability to take charge

draw conclusions

Jenny didn’t want to tell Tina the entire plot of the movie, so he just gave her the gist of the story.

Gist means…
a. ending
b. title
c. main idea

Gist means main idea

ask questions

What does alleviate mean?

 ask yourself:

What would the patient
want the prescription
to do to his pains?

alleviate means relieve

5. 5 Step-strategy for guessing the meaning of unknown words
Step 1: Look at the word
Step 2: Look at the sentence
Step 3: Look at the relationship between the
sentence containing the unknown word
and other sentences
Step 4: Guess the meaning of the unknown word
Step 5: Check that your guess is correct

This could help you....
6. Activity
Practice Context Clues

Read each sentence and write down the closest meaning type of context clue
(contrast/antonym, restatement/synonym, example or general knowledge) that helps you define the meaning of the key term.
Full transcript