Appendix 3: Strategy Coach Tips

48 Chapter 3: Strategy Coach Tips

3.1 Strategy Coach Tip

Making inferences

I will explain the reading strategy of making inferences. Making inferences means understanding something that is not directly said by the writer of the text. People sometimes call it “reading between the lines.” This strategy is important because writers often assume that the reader has the necessary background knowledge and will not say and explain everything about the topic.

To help you infer while you are reading, follow this strategy. Think about the topic in the reading and understand the purpose. Think about what you already know about the topic. Make connections between your experience and the topic. This will help you use the facts in the text to understand and read between the lines.

Let us take this sentence from the Delivery Policy as an example: Drivers must not leave delivery vehicle engines running in the dock. Why not? The author does not give us a reason. The author thinks we know why. Let us think about the reason like this:

What the reading says
  • Start by looking at the sentence related to this topic in the text. Here it is: “Drivers must not leave delivery vehicle engines running in the dock.”
What I know
  • Next, think about what you know can happen when a truck engine is left running. You know that when the engine is running, gas is being used. Using gas without a purpose is very wasteful and is not good for the environment. You also know that when the engine is running, there is smoke from the truck. This smoke makes the air we breathe dirty.
My inference
  • Maybe the drivers of the delivery trucks must turn off the engines so that gas is not wasted and the air in the loading dock is as clean as possible.

3.2 Strategy Coach Tip

Guessing new words

We have looked at making inferences while reading a text. You can use this same strategy to also guess the meaning of a word from the context. Let us try this strategy to understand “service elevator”:

What the reading says about the word
  • Start by looking at the sentence related to this in the text. Here is one: “Use only these service elevators for deliveries.”
What I know
  • Next, think about what you know about deliveries to stores. Let us look at the following two points:
    1. You know that many deliveries may be big. If a delivery is big, it may not fit in an ordinary elevator.
    2. You know that it may not be safe for people and big delivery items to be in the same elevator.
My inference
  • Service elevators that are to be used only for deliveries must be bigger and must be used for taking things up and down rather than carrying people.

3.3 Strategy Coach Tip

Types of words and affixes

Types of words

There are different types of words in English. Each type of word has a job, or a function. Here we will learn about two types of words: nouns and verbs.

Type of word Function Example Example sentence
Noun Names a thing, person, place, or idea table, man, woman, room, happiness A man and a woman are sitting at a table.
Verb Describes an action (doing) or a state (being) go, come, sit, is (be)
  • The man and woman go home at 6:00.
  • He is a teacher.

Affixes

When groups of letters are added to the beginning or to the end of a word, they are called affixes. There are two kinds of affixes, and each has its own function:

Affixes
Prefix Suffix
  • Comes before a word
  • Usually changes the meaning of a word
  • Comes after a word
  • Usually changes the form of a word

Let us look at an example from the reading text: unattended

-un

-attend-

(to take care of)

-ed
Prefix Suffix
un- means “not”

Changes the meaning of attend to “not attend” or “not take care of ”

In this example, -ed changes the word from the verb to the adjective form

3.4 Strategy Coach Tip

Types of word – noun, verb, and adjective

We learned that there are different types of words in English and that each type of word has a job, or a function. We looked at nouns and verbs. Now, we will look at adjectives. Read the chart below to review nouns and verbs, and then focus on adjectives.

Type of word Function Example Example sentence
Noun Names a thing, person, place, or idea table, man, woman, room, happiness A man and a woman are sitting at a table.
Verb Describes an action (doing) or a state (being) go, come, sit, is (be)
  • The man and woman go home at 6:00.
  • He is a teacher.
Adjective Describes, or tells you more, about a noun good, bad, beautiful
  • The Rockies are beautiful.
  • He is a good man.

3.5 Strategy Coach Tip

Prepositions of time

Prepositions are very important words. They show the relationship between words in a sentence. Some examples of the relationships prepositions show are distance, position, and time. We will focus on time here. Let us look at three main prepositions of time: in, on, and at. The chart below shows how they are used:

Preposition Function Example
in
  • Used with months
  • Used with years
  • Used with period of the day with “the”
  • Used with long periods of time
in August in 2010

in the morning, in the afternoon (refer to preposition “at” below)

in the winter

on
  • Used with days of the week
  • Used with specific dates
  • Used with specific day that is celebrated or special
on Monday

on August 5, 2015

on New Year’s Day, on my birthday

at
  • Used with specific time of day or night
  • Used with period of the night
at 9:00, at noon, at midnight

at night

Sometimes, you don’t use the preposition. For example, when you use the word “this,” you will say, “I met him this morning. It is incorrect to say, “I met him in this morning.”

3.6 Strategy Coach Tip

Listening for thought groups

When people speak in sentences in English, they chunk, or group words together, in thought groups. If you listen carefully for pauses in speech, you can identify how the words are grouped together.

 

 

 

 

 

3.7 Strategy Coach Tip

Learning new vocabulary

Learning a language doesn’t only happen in a classroom. One of the best ways to learn how to use new words and expressions is to log, or record, how people use these words in daily life. Try to use the new words yourself, and keep track of how you use them. The more you use the new words, the easier they will be for you to remember and understand.

There are two kinds of language logs to help you develop your vocabulary:

1. Language Observer Log: In this log, you can record where you heard or read the word or phrase. Read this sample Language Observer Log and discuss it with your instructor or classmate.

2. Language User Log: In this log, you can record how and where you used the word or phrase. You can also analyze how you used it. Read this sample Language User Log and discuss it with your instructor or classmate.

 

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