One of the obstacles learners/readers encounter in reading are the vocabulary words stated in the reading materials, Magazines and newspapers and other periodicals contain general information that could help boost the awareness of a reader.
Learners of English as the Second Language get bored on reading because they do have the tools and guides to unravel these vocabulary words. These learners are having a hard time comprehending these reading materials. Thought the dictionary is always at hand, it is far better if the reader/learner has the ability to unravel the meaning of a vocabulary words encounters while in the process of reading.
Contextual clueing techniques should be imparted to readers/learners before instructing them to read. I would like to reiterate that contextual clueing is used and can be taught only to higher grades or to high school students in particular.
Context clues are used to determine the meaning of the unfamiliar words while reading.
Let us analyze the sentences below:
1. Feeling nervous, she is reluctant to join the contest. a) nervous, b) interested, c) unwilling
In this sentence, reluctant is the unfamiliar word. Based on the words surrounding reluctant, without looking in the dictionary, you can see and feel that “she is unwilling to join the contest” because of nervous. There are things to be considered why “she is nervous.” The contestant is not prepared to compete because if she really is prepared to compete, the feeling of being nervous will be replaced with excitement.
Let have another sentence:
2. Only ashes remain after the conflagration. a) fire, b) smoke, c) burned
In this sentence, the conflagration is the vocabulary word. The words that surround the vocabulary word give emphasis on the exact meaning. “Only ashes remain,” this phrase indicates that there is a big fire occurred. Therefore, conflagration means fire or a big fire that made the things into ashes.
Though the dictionary is the best source to learn the meaning of the unfamiliar words, when reading, most of the times you don’t have your dictionary at hand. Context clues, therefore, will be of great help to you to understand and comprehend any reading materials.