Language Articles

Reading comprehension 

Looking for clues

If you remember from last month's article: ‘reading’ means understanding the author’s message, not just calling out words? If you cannot answer comprehension questions after reading a page, you have not truly read anything.

There are specific reading-comprehension skills that will help you understand what you are reading. Whereas the last article focused on Main Idea, Predicting Outcomes, Inferences, and Fact or Opinion; this article will cover Context Clues, Cause and Effect, Drawing Conclusions, and Sequencing.

When reading be sure to ask yourself questions that reinforce these comprehension skills.

Read more: Reading Strategy - Part Two - Question Everything - Language Article

 Are you really reading

Are you really reading?

If you read every word on a page, are you really reading it? It might seem a strange question to ask, but the answer is even stranger: maybe you are, but maybe you're not!

One definition of the verb ‘to read’ is, “to utter aloud written matter”.  By using this definition alone, of course you are reading, but there is another definition (there are several), which says “to understand or interpret”. After reading a page, if you cannot answer questions about the material you just read, you really just uttered the words out loud. Yes, you have shown you know how to say the words, but you also need to understand the author’s message behind the words. If you can do that, you know you are truly reading.

Read more: Reading Strategy - Part One - Language Article

 Spice of life

Variety is the spice of life, and because many words of modern English come from lots of different sources, French, German, Nordic languages, Latin, Spanish and even Hindi and Eskimo, speakers and writers have lots of choice when it comes to which words to use.

 

For example:-

Is this bed hard or solid?

Is he clever / intelligent / bright / smart ...?

This all makes English a rich language, but it can be frustrating.

Read more: Variations - Language Article

 

According to American linguistic researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, the language  that we speak has an affect upon  at least half of what we see. Among the examples they give are the many distinctions made in English, between colours,  which do not necessarily appear in other languages, and vice versa.

Read more: The English we Speak - Language Article