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Lesson 9 Comprehension Techniques

Lesson 9 Comprehension Techniques

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Published by Guttyon

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Published by: Guttyon on Sep 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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You are preparing to write a Comprehension and Language Exam.Here are some TIPS that will help you with this exam.
TIPSWhen you answer a comprehension exercise:1. Read the text through once. Then read ALL the questions. Then read the text again.Every time you do a comprehension, try to increase the SPEED at which you read, whilestill making sure you UNDERSTAND what you read.You should read the text twice, or more often, if you have time; this is important if thetext is a long passage, rather than a short passage or a cartoon.Sometimes, you are given ten minutes reading time before you can start writing anexamination. Use the time well.2. Look carefully at the mark allocation, and make sure you answer enough for the numberof marks.3. Take GREAT CARE with multiple choice questions. They are often easier than theyappear. Always take a guess if you don't know the answer.4. Answer comprehension exercises for practice. Work through past papers.
 You might think it is a bit late for this, but every day can bring you a new word and you canmake sure that you learn and study a few new words every day between this day and the exam.WHEN YOU FIND A NEW WORDYou need to be very aware of 
context clues. W
ords shift and change meaning; the context of themoment determines the meaning of the moment.1. Context is
major tool for students in vocabulary expansion. Sharpen your contextclue power.2. Zero in on new words3. The context must be broad, e.g., the page1
 You will find clues in:
word order
idea order
word groupings
classes of words
sentence structure
paragraph structure
signals in the possible intonation (the rising or falling pitch of the voice whensomebody says a word or syllable, or the rising and falling pattern of speechgenerally)1.
 Direct explanation clue
Writers know they have used a word readers will not know. They mayprovide an outright explanation.
using the appositive construction (
and commas, or commas alone)
using an explanation (
that is
using an explanation placed at a distance2.
 Experience clue
 Using your own experience - either direct or indirect - to help you guess a word, or toapproximate a meaning.3.
 Mood or tone clue
 The author has set a mood; the meaning of the unknown word must harmonise with themood.4.
 Explanation through example
 Example can help illuminate the meaning.5.
Summary clue
 Here the new word appears to wrap up the whole situation - the situation may be foundbefore or after the word.6.
Synonym, or restatement clue
 Synonyms are seldom exact equivalents; precision requires a dictionary.7.
Comparison or contrast clue
Familiar expression or language experience clue
Words in a series clue
 Inference clue
This is when you must guess from everything you have seen in the passage. This typeoverlaps all the foregoing types except direct explanation.When should you NOT rely on context clues?1. when you have an unmissable clue - a direct explanation2. when you have highly revealing clues and the meaning clicks with the rest of the passage.3. when, in view of your purpose for reading the selection, you need only a general sense of meaning.DON
T RELY ON CONTEXT CLUES1. When you require a precise meaning.2. When the word is a key word, one crucial to your understanding and full comprehensionis important to you.3. When the clues suggest several possibilities - and you don
t know which.4. When you don
t know the nearby words.5. When you have encountered the word a number of times, realise that it is a common,useful one which you will meet again, and will want to master thoroughly for futurereading.Don
t just slide over a new word; zero in, use context, use a dictionary.You also need:1. knowledge of frequently occurring
prefixes, suffixes and roots
 2. sensitivity to the word explosion; we have many new words as a result of social,scientific and political changes
In this exercise, you are given a short poem.Question 1 tests your
. You need to look at the context of each word to help youunderstand its meaning. Look words up if you do not understand them. Try to use these wordsoften so that you become comfortable with them and how to use them.Question 2 tests the following
reading skills
recognising contrasts
understanding the result of an action
understanding the effects of time on objects
linking the title to the text3

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