When you need to identify a word you do not know, try the following steps:

Step 1. Don't stop at the word. Read the rest of the sentence.Then, go back and read the word you do not know. Try to say the sound of the first letter or group of letters. Read the sentence again. When you reach the part that you don't know, say the beginning sound. It may sound like a word that you know or make sense to you. Check if it is the same word as the one on the page. If none of the words that you think of is like the one on the page, go to Step 2.

Step 2. Try to recognize a part of the word, and say it aloud. Pronounce it again, adding the sounds of the letters that are before and after it. See if you said a word that makes sense in the context of the sentence. If that does not, go to Step 3.

Step 3. Ask for help or use a dictionary.

Type in the word (or cut and paste it) in the box below. Click the Get the Definition button. You will then go to the dictionary.reference.com web site. Note: To return to this page, use your browser's "back" button.

Adapted from: Facilitating the Reading Process by Gina Cantoni-Harvey in The Multicultural Classroom: Readings for Content-Area Teachers, Longman Publishing Group, New York, 1992.


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