Infering Word Meaning Through Context Clues

Reading comprehension, English as a second or foreign language, Vocabulary


By: Neng Syifa Masnoneh

One of the purposes of teaching English to EFL learners is to equip them with reading skill so that they can comprehend an authentic English text for their reading purposes. However, the lack of vocabulary size will apparently cause a big problem for them to comprehend the text since the number of vocabulary size supports the mastery of reading in addition to listening, speaking, and writing. Thus, vocabulary acquisition must be given a greater emphasis. Therefore, in this paper I aim to outline general teaching procedure to develop the microskill of inferring the meaning of new words students encounter through context clues. This microskill is one of ways to enhance their reading comprehension. It is expected that this paper could provide some insights for teachers with the same problem and interest.

English course, whether it is as general subject or as compulsory subject, is given to equip student so they can communicate in global community. One of the purposes is to improve their reading skill, enabling them to access information printed in English. This ability is considered important because lots of information, which is needed for academic and non-academic purposes are written in English; and to prepare high competent human resources who can compete nationally and internationally, the mastery of the skill is likely cannot be ignored. The underlying reason of the importance of English mastery is the global use of the language. However, many students, but not all, fail in acquiring the language which then leads to the reading failure. This failure is, in general, contributed by the lack of vocabulary size, since good vocabulary mastery supports the master of reading, along with writing, listening, and speaking. The relation between vocabulary size and the success or the failure of...
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