Vocabulary help: Contextual clues

23 05 2010

The vocabulary section of the Comprehension paper is worth five marks – almost 15% of the content marks available. As such, students who do well for this section tend to do better overall.

When compared to the AQ and the summary, the vocabulary section is a significantly quicker way of earning marks, for these questions often take the least time to complete.

But how do you get them right if you have no idea what the word means?

Two words: contextual clues.

Here are some helpful links which deal with using contextual clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words:

Building Vocabulary: Using Context Clues to Learn Word Meaning

The Longman Vocabulary Website: Using Context Clues

Once you’re familiar with the various contextual clues that writers use, test yourself, with these online tests:

Guessing Vocabulary in Context 1
Guessing Vocabulary in Context 2

The Longman Vocabulary Website
Exercises are separated into beginner, intermediate and advanced. However, note that even the advanced ones are relatively easy by GCE ‘A’ Level standards)




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: