Word guessers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    1,444

    Oct 19, 2019

    What if I can and do decode a word accurately but don’t know its meaning (which may be a more accurate description of what I did or attempted to do in my own reading of medical literature) and so I derive its meaning from clues? Is that any better?

    I think it may be best to agree to disagree here.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  2. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    444

    Oct 20, 2019

    I don't have the book on me so I will have to check -- but I do want to add that context clues are rarely an effective strategy for figuring out the meaning of words and adults only get it right about 30% of the time (I'll find the book and double check this; it was a fairly low percentage though). Unless the author has specifically intended to teach the meaning of a word through surrounding text, it's difficult to get the intended meaning of a word from context.

    For adults, that's ok sometimes, and it can work, although looking a word up is a better way to figure out the meaning. For kids with limited vocabulary, "use context clues" is an incredibly unhelpful prompt because most of the time there are NO context clues that would enable them to accurately -- or even somewhat accurately -- determine the meaning of an unknown word.
     
    a2z likes this.
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    1,444

    Oct 20, 2019

    This is often true for some words. And it is the type of example that I was giving in my post that you quoted.

    However, my earlier point was that, for multiple-meaning words where the word meanings are commonly known, the context is typically enough. That is all I was suggesting. I was not intending to suggest that words would never need to be looked up.

    I was thinking of homonyms, such as wind, read, wound, left, pen, etc. Those are all words that even most children can understand without looking up. But they would need to use context to determine the meaning and, sometimes, pronunciation.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,282
    Likes Received:
    1,637

    Oct 21, 2019

    The other week I read an article about the importance of teaching content. We focus so much on "teaching to read, then reading to learn" that students are often missing out on the crucial vocabulary words they must have in order to understand what they are reading.

    So, while I'm pretty solidly a fan of phonics, that in and of itself can leave a word meaningless. I suppose it can be argued that if you already know a term and its meaning, guessing can have its place, up to a point.
     
    Tired Teacher and bella84 like this.
  5. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    444

    Oct 21, 2019

    There is a report by the National Reading Panel that I used extensively for my master's. It discusses 5 key areas of effective reading instruction: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency. I'm just now reading it really thoroughly, but it does offer some great insight into the different essential areas of literacy instruction.

    Pictures should absolutely be used to aid comprehension. Determining what a character might be feeling, what else is happening in the story, or clarifying the meaning of a decoded unfamiliar word are good things to do while reading. I'm starting to realize that the three-cueing system focuses very heavily on comprehension while neglecting phonemic awareness and phonics (and to some extent fluency, since students can't learn to read fluently if they're just guessing words from the pictures to make sense of what they're reading).


    https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/nrp/Documents/report.pdf
    National Reading Panel (US). (2000). National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read: an Evidence-based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health.
     
    a2z likes this.
  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,738
    Likes Received:
    1,657

    Oct 21, 2019

    That's a whole different discussion. That is not teaching one skill to focus more on another.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    520
    Likes Received:
    263

    Oct 27, 2019

    I have seen a huge decrease in student vocabulary levels over the years. The scary part is where I came from we had an excellent phonics program for years and the kids spoke English ( for the most part) as a second language. The kids I teach now only know English and their vocabulary levels are lower.
    I think it has to do with fewer conversations between kids and adults, the use of too much technology, too young for entertainment, and increased drug abuse in this area at least. We had a generation of kids whose moms were addicted to FB and now many parents are so tied to their phones that they don't talk to their kids as much as they used to.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,738
    Likes Received:
    1,657

    Oct 27, 2019

    I also think there are parents who do less. They aren't involved in teaching their children life skills such as cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, sewing, yard work, car repair, house repairs, etc. All of this requires much discussion. When the parents don't do anything other than order food via the drive through and buy new undies when they are out, even if they do talk to their kids a lot, what they say will be limited. Many adults have lost their vocabularies over the years because they don't use it. They may be able to recall the word when they read it, but using language is very different than reading language.

    We are quickly becoming a society that praises the lowest level utterances rather than be that "snooty, know-it-all" who uses large vocabulary words. It is looked down on to use less known vocabulary words. No surprise that each generation is becoming less knowledgeable when they come to school. I can almost guarantee that many of the new, young teachers have a weak vocabulary. It will get worse the more colleges start not requiring the standardized tests which were really the only indicators that the applicant had a decent vocabulary.
     
    Backroads and Tired Teacher like this.
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    520
    Likes Received:
    263

    Oct 27, 2019

    I struggled with this many yrs ago when I moved to a place where English was a 2nd language to most. I felt like I needed to "bring" it down a lot not to sound arrogant and people could understand what I was saying.
    After awhile, I realized kids learned so fast that it was OK to use higher level vocabulary because they'd learn it. They were curious. So I spoke differently to the students than most of the adults. The adults you had to respect that they had learned English as well as they had. Where I live/work now, there are very few younger teachers. I was pretty anti testing ( because it became overused in TX at 1x) until I started seeing this trend of everyone passes/graduates. A HS diploma means nothing here. Still we test the kids way too much imo because nothing is done to correct the situation. They test low. They get sent to a Title teacher and still test low. Then they get sent to Sped where all expectations are thrown out the window here.
    Oh, and yeah! Parents are not doing practical life skills anymore. I almost think Montessori for Pre K might be the way to go.
    That trend has actually been making its way into many universities for at least 10 yrs. I know people who have taught at several who say if someone fails, it looks bad on the professor. Also, students evaluate professors and if the professors are not liked or flexible enough, they are in danger of losing their jobs. Education is not what it used to be!
     
    Backroads likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 513 (members: 0, guests: 494, robots: 19)
test