When we are reading a book, a novel, or even an article online, we often encounter some words that are really hard to understand. Our common reaction to this is to either search for its meaning on the internet or simply look at it in the dictionary we have at home.

However, little did we know, there are different ways how to easily convey a word in a certain scenario. These are the following: context clues, prior knowledge, and word structure.

First, we will be going to discuss context clues. Having context clues mean we already have a hint of what the word aims to tell us. It does not give us the hassle to dig or look into its meaning because the set of linguistic forms indicates its purpose. In addition to this, there are five (5) types of context clues that can help us to comprehend a word or sentence: synonym, a brief definition, example, contrast, and inference. These five types of context clues will serve as the hint or clue in order for us to be able to construct the meaning of a specific word.

Example: “The only son of the popular actor is a notorious gangster. He is such a disgrace to the family.”

In this example, we can see that some of the learners may find the first underline word hard to understand. However, because of the context clue (synonym) used which is the second underlined word, we can come up with an idea that notorious means a shame to or well-known for bad conduct.

Next in line is prior knowledge. Prior knowledge refers to the familiarity, information, understanding, and cognizance of a learner to a given topic even before introducing it to them. It is similar to what we call “stock knowledge.” This is advantageous for the learner for the reason that he/she can easily deal with the new given topic or material.

Example: The teacher will ask the students some questions regarding their past topic in order for them to relate to her new lesson. The students, then, will answer based on their prior knowledge or what they have learned in the past.

Lastly, the word structure is the word used for morphology in terms of literature. It pertains to the permissible arrangement of the word. Another thing about the word structure is that it helps learners gain a new idea on how to use the words properly, improves spelling and grammar, and increases the extent of vocabulary.

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Aerish Gail Oliveros

Reading and writing have become my passion. These hobbies brought me to the next level when I became a part of the Editorial Board as the Literary Editor when I was in 10th grade. I’ve also joined reading and writing contests and I must say that it’s not all about competition. It is an eye-opener that brought changes in my perspectives in life. I learned so many things from writing and it made me see the beauty of unseen things. Until now, reading and writing are my ways of spending my leisure time and it serves as my comfort zone especially when I am facing problems. Although I won’t be able to join contests anymore because of my responsibilities in school as well as my spiritual duties, my love for reading and writing will always stay the same. In fact, it is a God-given talent that I should treasure and be proud of.