Intermediate Reading Course. Section 1: The Basics
Dealing with Vocabulary in Reading
Instructions. Based on this lesson (including the videos), answer each of the following questions in the space provided.
When you are finished, click “Answer” to check your answer.
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1. How can poor vocabulary affect your reading?
You can still understand what you are reading fairly well, but running into many unknown words can affect your reading fluency and comprehension.
Poor vocabulary has an even more negative impact on your reading if you keep interrupting your reading to look words up.
2. How does having good vocabulary help you communicate?
You can understand what people are saying.
You can express your ideas clearly, precisely, and efficiently because you have more word choices.
You can navigate the social environment and switch linguistic registers.
You can write better—you have word choice to communicate your ideas better when you write.
3. Give examples of situations where you need to use different linguistic registers.
Below are a few examples of situations where you need to use different linguistic registers:
Talking to friends and family.
Talking to people in a business (e.g., a clothing store or supermarket).
Talking to people in a professional setting.
Talking to professors and students in an academic setting.
4. Explain this excerpt from the lesson: “We sometimes use a passage to study the vocabulary in it. When you do that, you must keep in mind that you are not reading the passage.”
The purpose of reading is to understand the content. When you use a passage to study vocabulary, you end up focusing on the vocabulary, not on what the writer wants to communicate.
In addition, when you look words up, you interrupt the flow of information in the text, that is, you disconnect from the ideas the writer is communicating to you in writing.
5. Why do people who read a lot usually have good vocabularies?
When you see a new word while reading, you will probably forget it very soon. If you read a lot, there is a chance you may see that word again. After seeing that word a few times, you end up learning it.
Back to the lesson
6. If you do read to help with vocabulary development, what types of passages are best suited for it?
You should read passages that are neither too difficult nor too easy. If they are too difficult, you will be frustrated. If they are too easy, you may lose interest and you will already know the vocabulary.
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