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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Advanced Reading Course

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Dealing with Vocabulary in Reading

Vocabulary is important in reading because unknown words may affect reading fluency and reading comprehension. No matter how good your vocabulary is, you will always run into new words while reading; however, there are ways you can figure out or guess the meaning of a word using context clues.

For example, sometimes writers give you the meaning of a new word through synonyms or comparisons and antonyms or contrasts; other times, they define and explain keywords.

If you are reading to understand the content, it is best not to worry about unknown vocabulary words as long as you understand the content. (You can always look words up after you finish reading.)

When you are not reading for content, you can develop good habits and study skills that promote vocabulary learning and improvement. Using a dictionary correctly to support reading comprehension is also crucial.

Importance of Vocabulary in Reading

Vocabulary is very important in reading because writers use words that express their ideas clearly. If you do not know the words the writer has used in a passage, you will probably have difficulties understanding it.


Activity 1: Watch a video on YouTube to learn about the importance of vocabulary and linguistic concepts. Take good notes.

Activity 2: Watch a video on YouTube to learn about vocabulary-learning habits so you can continue improving your vocabulary. Take good notes.


Practice 1: Complete exercises to practice what you have learned or to test your understanding so far.

Using Context Clues to Guess Unknown Words

It helps to read a lot so you come across a lot of vocabulary as often as possible. Nonetheless, it takes a long time and a lot of experience with the language to acquire good vocabulary. Even avid readers who know a large number of words are likely to run into new words often. Then, what do you do when you are reading and run into words you do not know? Looking words up slows your reading and takes the focus away from understanding the content. However, you can do a few things that will allow you to understand those unknown words.


Activity 3: Watch a video to learn about using synonyms and antonyms in the paragraph or passage to figure out the meaning of unknown words during reading. Take good notes.

Activity 4: Watch a video to learn about using other context clues in the paragraph or passage to guess the meaning of unknown words. Take good notes.