chapter  12
9 Pages

Teaching Word Learning Strategies: Context

Context contains a great deal of valuable information about a word’s mean­ ing. Children can acquire huge amounts of vocabulary knowledge “natu­ rally,” picking up the meanings of words from context as they read large amounts of appropriately challenging text. However, research has made it clear that the benefits of context are primarily long term-a matter of gradu­ ally accumulating partial information about words as one repeatedly en­ counters them. On the other hand, the chance of learning the meaning of any particular word from one encounter with that word in context is rather slim (Nagy, Anderson, & Herman, 1987; Schatz & Baldwin, 1986).