Reading Comprehension Strategies: Tackle unknown words on the web-site for teachers
and learners of English as a secondary language from a German point of
Reading Strategy: TACKLE UNKNOWN
You don't know the meaning of a word?
If it is not important for the understanding
of the text don't worry.
If it is important for the understanding
of the text try the following strategies:
Guess the meaning from the context
of the sentence or paragraph.
Write the sentence on a sheet of paper
leaving a gap..............for the word you don't know and write the word
apart from the sentence.
Find an English synonym or equivalent
or a German word that seems to fit.
How does this word work or function
in the sentence?
Is it a noun or a verb, an adjective
or an adverb, a connective and a conjunction?
Put in one of the following passe-partout
for nouns: thing, person, animal, ideas,
he, she, it, they
for verbs: to do, did, get, got, make,
made, give, gave, jump(ed)
for adjectives: a kind of, good, bad,
for adverbs: in a certain way, well,
for adverbials: yesterday, today, tomorrow,
then, in Maintown, there
for connectives: but, and, or, because,
which, that, if,
Find the markers for the parts of speech:
nouns: 3(numerals), this, my, the,
verbs: second position after he/she/it/they/Mr
Miller/Ann, ....--ed, are(is/was/were ......-ing
connectives: position between two sentences
or in front position
How can you ask, if you want to have
the word in the answer:
Who did what where when what like why?
What happened to whom where when in
which way why?
Look at the sentence in which the word
is used. Check whether the meaning you guessed fits together with its neighbouring
words and sentences
Perhaps there is a definition or an
explanation or an example somewhere else in the text.
Perhaps you know a part of the word.
What does the rest mean?
Do you know other words with the same
endings or beginnings, prefixes or suffixes?
Perhaps the word exists in other languages,
Now start and tackle. And make it a gliding
tackling, not a high dive.