When you meet an unknown word in a reading text, you can decide to…
* ignore it
* look it up in a dictionary immediately
* look it up in a dictionary later
* try to guess the meaning
What do you normally do when you meet unknown words? if you use more than one of the above strategies, what are the reasons for your choice? Read the information below which are quoted from Global – the most latest English Language book & achieved the Duke of Edinburgh ESU Award 2010.
Did you know?
Looking up every word in a reading text can help develop your vocabulary but it will slow down your reading. If you are skimming a text (reading for general understanding) or scanning (reading for specific information), you do not need to understand every word.
Research suggests that if you understand most of a reading text, you can often guess the meanings of unknown words from their appearance or from the context.
Clues from a words’ apprearance include:
Prefixes and suffixes (mis-, re-, – ism, -ant)
Compounds (good-looking, daylight)
Similarities to other words (ascertain – certain)
Similarities to words in you language”