Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Guessing Meaning

on May 22, 2013

In the next class we will practice the skill of guessing meaning. This will help you use the dictionary less and enjoy reading in foreign languages more. Please choose ONE of the questions below and answer it in the comments.

a. Please explain some of the skills or “tricks” you use to guess difficult words or understand text (besides using a dictionary).

b. Look at the following sentence and guess the meaning of one of the words in bold: ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: all mimsy were the borogroves and the mome graths outgrabe.

While you read The Curious Incident pages 114-132, please keep a record of the characters and write the answers to the following questions in your journal.

1. What is a “Double Bluff”?

2. What two important things does he find in his father’s room?

3. What is the second mystery he has to solve?

4. What does “leap to the wrong conclusions” mean?

5. What does Christopher think about ghosts?

6. What did Robert May, George Oster, and Jim Yorke discover?

7. Predict what will happen in the next 20 pages.

Also don’t forget to do your Book Review!

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12 responses to “Guessing Meaning

  1. Ai Inoue(T4) says:

    a. First, I see if the word in question is a noun, verb, adjective or something else. Then, I carefully read the text before and after the word and think about what kind of meaning would be appropriate in that context. Also, if the word is similar with a word that I already know, it mostly means that the definition has something to do with the word I’m familiar with.

  2. Kurumi Takeuchi (T4) says:

    a.I read carefully the writings before and after the word. Then, I consider if there is an easy word which I can replace with the word I don’t know. Also, I think it is useful not to stick too much to several unknown words to undrstand the whole meaning of the text.

  3. Kaori Kubo (T4) says:

    a. I focus on the prefix of the word to try to get a general gist of the word – is it a positive or negative meaning – and then move on from there. I also think about the possible derivatives of the word. I then try to see the word not individually but as a part of a context; that is, I read the sentence or paragraph in which the word is located and from the context of the message I try to figure out its meaning. Basically, I use a top-down method.

  4. Kyoko Nomura(T4) says:

    a. I divide the word into small parts and check if the word is combined with some other words. If so, I apply the meaning of the combined word and guess the meaning. I also check the prefix of the word. If I can’t guess the meaning in both ways, I carefully read the paragraph or sentence again and try to guess the meaning of the word from the background information.

  5. Eri Fukui (T4) says:

    a. Whenever I come across a word I have never seen and don’t know, I either try to grasp its meaning vaguely by judging from the etymology of the word, or I ignore it and continue reading, and then guess its meaning from the context.

  6. Arisa Kurihara (T4) says:

    a. I try to guess it’s meaning by either just looking at the prefix or the suffix of the word, or by the context of the sentences before and after it.

  7. Fumina Watanabe (T4) says:

    a. To guess difficult words or to understand text, I will read further for clues. After that I will go back to the place I didn’t understand, and see if I can understand it.

  8. Ayane Kawahara (T4) says:

    a. When I don’t understand the exact meaning of a word in a sentence, I first read the whole sentence and find out what kind of role the word acts in the sentence. If it is a verb, for example, I try to exchange it with an easier one and see if it makes sense.This often works for me when the verb shows the way of moving or talking, just in a more complex way.

  9. Maiko Imai T4 says:

    A.I read the sentence that has the mystery word carefully and try to guess it by feeling.
    If I don’t get the meaning I just skip it and continue my reading. After reading the page or the paragraph and if the mystery word seems to be important I look it up.

  10. Miki Hosoda (T4) says:

    a. First, I read the sentence with the uknown word in it, and then I read one sentence before and after that. This helps me predict what the word means. If that doesn’t work out I don’t really mind about it and go on reading.

  11. Hong soon hyuk T4 says:

    A. When I find out the words that I do not know, I always inferred the meaning of the word from the context of a passage. This method is quite in accord with the correct meaning of the word.

  12. Natsumi Maruyama (T4) says:

    a. If there’s a word I don’t know, I don’t try to figure it out right away. And try to guess the meaning using before and after words.

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