This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
they meet a new word or phrase. Would you encourage or discourage any of these, or suggest a sequence of strategies?´
(From Tricia Hedge s Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, Chapter 6, Reading Discussion Topics and Projects, page 220)
I would definitely encourage this. Students should be encouraged to decide whether the new word they have met is necessary, or whether they can go without it and yet get the gist of what they are reading. More often than not, if they think it is not a word of major importance, they manage to get a full understanding of the text and, what¶s more, they can infer the meaning of that word.
I think about whether the word is important for understanding the whole text
I would encourage this for the same I read on to see if the word is reason I gave before: its meaning repeated. may be inferred by context; besides, it is good not to stop the flow of ideas expressed by the writer in the text. If they keep on reading, there are greater chances that the writer¶s whole idea is successfully conveyed. Stopping too often poses the danger of losing the track of thoughts, and fill the reader with a sense of failure. That¶s why I am for this kind of strategy.
Dictionaries are great toolsboth in the classroom and in the non-academic environment. They help students become more autonomous in their learning process. Depending on the level of English the student in question has, I would much rather encourage them to look the word up in a monolingual dictionary; if possible, check the meaning in two different ones at least. Still, it must be agreed that some students (especially adult students) have an urge to know the ³exact´ meaning of the word ± if such a thing as an exact synonym exists. Though I am not thrilled at the idea of letting them plunge into a bilingual dictionary every time they meet a new word, I cannot but wonder whether their anxiety to know the mother-tongue version of the word is good for them. It cannot be I go to a dictionary for a translation.
denied that their affective filter would hinder their progress. Nevertheless, I would not encourage them to stop reading and look up every single unknown word. I would ask them to give the text a chance and read it all before deciding whether any of those words are essential to the understanding of the text. Depending on the length of the text, we might even agree to choose a couple of words per student to look up and then share them, to get to a final five-word list. This would mean they would have to interact with other students to reduce the original list to a much shorter one; other students might know the meaning of the word and it would promote discovery learning. Dictionaries are learning tools and, when discreetly used, they are of invaluable aid.
This can be helpful sometimes, especially when I think if there is a Spanish it comes to words of Latin origin. However, this word like it. can pose the serious problem of negative transfer. It is all very well in words such as difficult, patio or attractively. Still, when students meet words such as sensible, library or conductor, to mention but a few, they might take it for granted that the rule of positive transfer applies to these words too, with the consequent misunderstanding. I would tell them to take it with a pinch of salt, always checking against the text to see if the Spanish version is consistent with it. For example, if someone in the text goes to a library and takes a book home to read and does not pay for it (or asks for a book to read and sits quietly at a table, in a room with other people doing exactly the same thing) it is highly unlikely that the word means librería. So, I wouldn¶t exactly encourage this, I would much rather warn them that though there are words which look and sound similar in both languages, there are others which do not. So I would ask them to check whether the text makes sense if they apply this strategy.
If during a reading comprehension exercise my students asked me to explain an unknown word, I would first ask them to go through the whole text first. It is possible that the word they regard as essential is not such. They could infer its meaning after reading the whole text by studying the surrounding words, and they could share their guesses with their peers. If this doesn¶t work, I would lead them to guess the meaning of the word. I ask my teacher to explain.
Definitely. I would encourage them to identify what part of the word they know and then guide them to identify the prefixes and
I look to see if the word has some part I know.
suffixes that may appear. Thus, their passive vocabulary would increase (since they would be able to understand the meaning of previously unknown words) and in time, with enough exposure and practice, it would become part of their active vocabulary.
Really? What for? I mean, if it is a reading comprehension exercise, the focus is on reading and understanding the text. I cannot see how saying the word out loud might help them understand the meaning of an unknown word or understand the text. Rather, if the word is mispronounced, it could lead to fossilization of the mistake. I see no point in encouraging this. I say the word out loud.
I wouldn¶t encourage my students I start again from the beginning of to do this. I think this would the sentence only hinder the natural flow of the text. This, however, could be a positive step when the reading is done aloud and the text was not read appropriately, making it hard to understand, or changing the intended meaning. I am thinking of Defining and Non-defining Relative Clauses in particular. But again, if it were just the meaning of one word, I wouldn¶t advise them to do this.
I ask the other students in my group.
I think this is a good choice, it fosters discovery learning and peer work. It is another good options to work through a text.
I write it in my notebook. I would encourage them to write it in their notebooks or maybe in their books. Some students would find it easier if they wrote the meaning on the book, because
they wouldn¶t have to move their eyes away from the page they are reading to have access to the meaning of the unknown word. The good thing is that, no matter which they choose, they would have a record of the word for further use.
I would definitely encourage this. Not only because they can infer the meaning, but also because in reading comprehension exercises in which students have to choose form a selection of very similar options, the only possible way to do this with no doubts whatsoever is to study the words around in order to distinguish the subtle differences in meaning the options offer. So, yes, I would encourage them to do this. I study the words around it.
Norma B. Tomé.