Indonesian stories and others
Posted August 12, 2010on:
Materi dari Kumpulan Cerita sampai Teaching Listening merupakan materi pelatihan dari pak Mahayana dari PPPG Bahasa Jakarta. Sedangkan materi yang lain berasal dari beberapa sumber. Semoga bermanfaat.
Words in Context
In the previous module, we have discussed about prefixes, suffixes, and word families. Words usually have several meanings. To study the uses of an appropriate word we have to study words in context. In this module the writer tries to emphasize words in context. One way to ensure that language learning occurs in meaningful context and that language processing goes beyond the level of isolated sentences to develop instructional models where language and content are closely intertwined
Developing students’ strategies for handling unknown words has always been one of the principal challenges of English reading classes. In general, the usual approach to this challenge is to have students read only passages in which every word is known, or else allow them to consult a bilingual dictionary or the teacher for the definition of every new word in the passage. The drawbacks of this approach are obvious. Too much dictionary work can kill all interest in reading and even interfere with comprehension, because readers become more concerned with individual words and less aware of the context which gives them meaning. It also results in very slow and inefficient reading (Wallace 1982).
Students to derive meaning with the help of context clues is an effective approach to increase vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Guessing vocabulary from context is the most frequent way to discover the meaning of new words. Honeyfield (1977) stresses the importance of context by arguing that even with a functional vocabulary of the 3,000 most frequently occurring items in English, learners will still not know approximately 20 percent of the items they will encounter in an unsimplified text.
1. To show the importance of teaching vocabulary in context
– To show Types of context clues including Morphology, Reference words, Cohesion, Synonyms and antonyms, Definitions, Cohesion, Hyponyms, Restatement, Example, Summary, Comparison and contrast, Punctuation, Class application and, Advantages of a context-based approach
2. Explain the things related to vocabulary instructional
This module contains some problems in vocabulary such as:
– Types of context clues including Morphology, Reference words, Cohesion, Synonyms and antonyms, Definitions, Cohesion, Hyponyms, Restatement, Example, Summary, Comparison and contrast, Punctuation,
– Class application
– Advantages of a context-based approach
II. Teaching Vocabulary In Context
Researchers (Kruse 1979; Nation 1980; Gairns and Redman 1986; Oxford and Crookall 1988) agree that to learn words in context and not in isolation is an effective vocabulary learning strategy. A word used in different contexts may have different meanings; thus, simply learning the definitions of a word without examples of where and when the word occurs will not help learners to fully understand its meaning. Learning an isolated list of words without reference to the context is merely a memorization exercise which makes it difficult for learners to use the words in spoken and written language. Looking at the context in which the word appears seems to be the best way of learning vocabulary. Good readers also take advantage of their background knowledge in processing the context and in creating expectations about the kind of vocabulary that will occur in the reading
According to Yu Shu Ying is a lecturer in the foreign language department of the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, China there are four assumptions underlie this discussion of a context-based approach to acquiring vocabulary.
1. Drawing inferences from what we observe is fundamental to thinking, and the same principle can be used in the reading process. Schema theory suggests that the knowledge we have is organized into interrelated patterns. These patterns are constructed from our previous experiences and guide us as to what we might expect to encounter in a new context (Nunan 1991). Making use of what we know in order to understand the unknown is a common practice in our daily lives. For instance, if we are in a building and observe that someone is entering folding a wet umbrella, we will infer that it is raining outside.
2. Vocabulary is connected with grammar, so familiarity with grammatical patterns helps the reader guess the meaning of words. For example, a word can be classified as a grammatical item or as a vocabulary item. Beautiful is a vocabulary item, and in functional grammar it is also an epithet in the nominal group the beautiful girl and reflects the speaker’s opinion of the person described. The connection between vocabulary and grammar can be seen by the interdependence of grammatical and lexical cohesion. In a typical text, grammatical and lexical cohesion support each other.
3. The subject matter of a passage is interrelated and the text is often redundantly structured. To help readers, writers often give definitions or extensive clues within the text when a new word appears. So readers may have more than one chance to understand the passage.
4. By nature, reading is a process of hypothesis formation and verification; it is a communicative act between a writer and a reader (possibly a large number of readers). Consequently, the reader’s understanding is unlikely to be 100 percent accurate. As Wallace (1982:33) puts it, “The mother-tongue speaker learns to be content with approximate meaning…. [H]e is satisfied with a meaning which makes sense of the context.” He compares this view of reading to the work of secret agents: “In the secret service there is a principle called the ‘need-to-know’ principle…. [I]n other words, agents are not told more than they need to know in case they get caught and betray their comrades. Perhaps in vocabulary learning the ‘need-to-know’ principle could also be applied. Students should not be told more about the meanings of words than they need to know to understand the context so that they don’t get confused” (Wallace 1982:33).
A. Types of context clues
There are a number of different context clues that can help a reader infer the meaning of a new word.
Morphology The students can derive word meanings by examining internal, morphological features, like prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
Reference words Identifying the referents of pronouns may provide a clue to the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
Example: Malnutrition gave him the shallowest of chests and thinnest of limbs. It stunted his growth.
In this sentence, the effect of malnutrition is obvious. Students should be able to guess what malnutrition could have done to growth.
Cohesion Sometimes words in the same sentence or in adjacent sentences give an indication of the meaning of an unfamiliar word, because these words regularly co-occur with the unfamiliar word, producing what has been termed “collocational cohesion” (Halliday and Hasan 1976:287).
Synonyms and antonyms Often the reader can find the meaning of new items in the same sentence.
Example: We had never seen such a large cave: it was simply enormous.
Obviously, the unknown word is a synonym for large.
Example: To be pretty and not plain, affluent and not poor, represents status in certain social groups.
We note that pretty and plain are opposites. When we see the next pair of words in a parallel construction, we can assume that affluent is the opposite of poor, and must therefore mean rich.
Hyponyms Very often the reader can see that the relationship between an unfamiliar word and a familiar word is that of a general concept accompanied by a specific example (a hyponym).
Example: The museum contained almost every type of vehicle: cars, buses, trains, and even old carriages and coaches.
Vehicle is being used as a hyponym; it encompasses all of the other items which are listed. Also, all of the listed items are of the same category.
Definitions Sometimes the writer defines the meaning of the word right in the text.
Example: Many animals live only by killing other animals and eating them. They are called predatory animals.
Alternatives The writer may give an alternative of an unfamiliar word to make the meaning known.
Example: Ichthyologists, or specialists in the study of fish, have contributed to our understanding of the past.
The word ichthyologist is unfamiliar to some readers, but the writer explains the meaning by giving a more familiar term.
Restatement Often the writer gives enough explanation for the meaning to be clear.
Example: X ray therapy, that is, treatment by use of X ray, often stops the growth of a tumor.
The phrase that is signals a clarification of a previously used word.
Example Many times an author helps the reader get the meaning of a word by providing examples that illustrate the use of the word.
Example: All the furniture had been completely removed so that not a single table or chair was to be seen.
The learner should be able to guess the meaning of furniture from the two examples which are mentioned.
Summary A summary clue sums up a situation or an idea with a word or a phrase.
Example: Mrs. Christopher contributes money to the Red Cross, the Girls Club, and the Cancer Society. She also volunteers many hours in the emergency ward of the hospital. She is indeed altruistic.
From the account of Mrs. Christopher’s deeds, the reader can infer that altruistic means unselfish.
Comparison and contrast Writers can show similarity or difference.
Example: The ancient mammoth, like other elephants, is huge.
This sentence indicates similarity and clearly states that the ancient mammoth is a type of elephant.
Punctuation Readers can also use clues of punctuation and type style to infer meaning, such as quotation marks (showing the word has a special meaning), dashes (showing apposition), parentheses or brackets (enclosing a definition), and italics (showing the word will be defined).
B. Class application
There are three stages of applying a context-based approach to vocabulary acquisition for adult EFL learners.
1. The teacher’s first task is to draw the students’ attention to cue words and phrases. Signals of connection, such as the words and and but and the phrases that is to say and in spite of, relate sentences or parts of sentences to each other. Generally, they specify “the way in which what is to follow is systematically connected to what has gone before” (Halliday and Hasan 1976:227).
By introducing the explicit function value of a signal word in a sentence, the teacher helps students work out the meaning of a difficult sentence or an unfamiliar word. Students become sensitive to these signals for context clues step by step, and they become skillful in identifying and using them to successfully infer meaning. To that end, in my classes I guide the students to clarify for themselves the function of the signal word in the sentence. I introduce cue words like this, that, it, and other indicators to help the students spot context clues. See Nation (1979) for a complete list of connectors.
Let me take the example of cause-and-effect context clues. The strategies for such a pattern include recognizing the pattern and then locating the effect(s) and the cause(s). These are not always neatly arranged. Students should be told that signal words like leads to, results in, because, and caused by are used to indicate the cause-and-effect relationship. By suggesting a few strategies to be carried out for context clues, the teacher can help students comprehend the larger chunks of information found in texts and get them over “word block.” See Robinson (1983:184–202) for his suggestions of study strategies for different text patterns.
2. The second task is to use leading questions to direct the students in a step-by-step search for context clues. With their limited experience in the target language and without the guidance of the teacher, students may find it hard to identify context cues. The available clues may be unnoticed or students may not be aware of words that are collocational. The teacher should use specific questions that direct the students’ attention to the surrounding environment of an unknown word and that elicit responses to help focus the discussion.
One example is to ask students to use a substitution word or expression for the unknown word. The teacher then asks if the substitution fits the context clues. Students can revise their ideas to fit the context, probably resulting in a different substitution word. Obviously, some vocabulary development will occur when using this type of substitution strategy.
3. The third task is to prepare exercises that practice inferring the meaning of unknown words in short contexts. In the long run, it is probably more important for students to be able to explain how they infer the meaning of new words than simply to get a particular example right or wrong. In this step, the teacher selects some short paragraphs, appropriate in terms of level of difficulty, to practice strategies of inference. Each paragraph should contain one or more context clues. The teacher should ask students to infer meaning independently and then to explain how they made the inference.
The teacher provides the students with a handout of selected paragraphs of suitable length containing underlined words which are not known by the class. The students’ task is to work out the meaning of the unknown words and to explain how they did it. In this exercise, the emphasis is on the process of inferring. Discussion should center on the strategies the students apply and the useful cue words and phrases they can find in the passage that help them guess. The aim is not to always guess a meaning exactly, but to become aware of the surrounding information in which a word is embedded, which both influences and points to its meaning. Some students may make wrong guesses. However, they should be encouraged as long as their attempt to infer the meaning of the unknown word uses an active searching and thinking process. Sooner or later they will master the skill of developing vocabulary by inferring.
There is a more advanced and elaborate type of follow-up to this kind of exercise, in which a number of unknown words are located in one passage. The learner is asked not to define the target words, but to indicate which words or phrases are helpful in inferring the meaning (Wallace 1982). There are other useful types of inference exercises that help develop the skill of inferring from context, for example, gap-filling, cloze exercises, context enrichment exercises, and word-replacement techniques (see British Council Teachers 1980:83–85).
C. Advantages of a context-based approach
In addition to increasing students’ vocabulary, this approach has several advantages.
1. It helps readers not only learn words but also know how to use them in context. Guessing the meaning of a word from its use in context requires an understanding of semantic properties, register, and collocation. It makes readers aware of one important feature of vocabulary, namely, that context determines the meaning of words.
2. Training students to infer meaning from context gives them a powerful aid to comprehension and will speed up their reading.
3. This approach allows the learners to make intelligent, meaningful guesses. This will make the learning task much more active and challenging than direct explanation of words. It has a problem-solving characteristic that appeals to most people and challenges them to make use of their intelligence to an extent that is not always common in language classes.
4. It helps readers develop a holistic approach toward reading. Because the context of a new word may be drawn from a group of sentences, a paragraph, or even the entire text, they learn to direct their attention to language units larger than the sentence while they are looking for context clues.
III. Problems of Teaching Vocabulary in Context
In studying vocabulary in context, we often depends on the general context of the sentence to help us choose the right vocabulary in context. Here some strategies we can apply in choosing :
- Look at the word being asked about and the words choices. If we are familiar with the word, guess which word is correct
- Read the sentence in which the word appears. If you were familiar with the word and guessed at the answer, make sure that the word that you choose fits with the word as it is used in sentence. Or in the sentences before or after help you guess the meaning.
- If you are not sure which answer is correct, read the sentence with each of the four choices in place. Does one seem more logical, given the context of the sentence, than the other three? If not do any seem illogical? (Those you can eliminate)
- If you are still not sure, make the best guess you can.
In the real test, sometimes two of the answer choices for these items might be “correct” definition of word that is asked about. In those cases we must decide which of the two is correct in the context of the passage. In ordinary reading there are a number of clues that can help you determine the meaning of an unknown words:
The first state to institute compulsory education was Massachusetts, which it mandatory for student to attend school twelve weeks a year.
The word Mandatory is a synonym for the word compulsory.
Many gardeners use some kind of mulch, such as chopped leaves, peat moss, grass clipping, pine needles, or wood chips, in order to stop the growth of weeds and hold moisture.
From the examples given, it is clear that mulch is plant matter.
In the 1820s, the Southern states supported improvements I the national transportation system, but the northern sates balked.
Since the Southern states supported improvements, and since word signalling contrast (but) is used, it is clear that the Northern states disagreed with this idea, and that the word balked must mean objected or refused
- General context
In a desert, vegetation is so scanty to be in capable of supporting any large human population.
As is generally known, deserts contain little vegetation, so clearly the word scanty must mean scarce or barely sufficient.
Here some exercises
Read each item then choose answer choice that could best be used in place of the underlined expression as it appears in the sentence.
1. Every atlas has its own legend.
- mythical story
- explanation of symbols
2. The planet Mercury is visible to the naked eye but is not the easiest planet to spot.
3. Above the snow line, any mountain hollow is permanently occupied with snow.
4. The glass factories of Toledo, Ohio, boomed after Michael Owen invented a process that turned out bottles by the thousand
- Dr. Rene Dubos, a French physician who came to United States in 1924, searched for substances that would check the growth of bacteria.
- The root of the horseradish plant has biting taste.
- The double bass is shaped like a viola and has a deep rich tone.
- A public library is a resource the entire community can draw on.
- A business concern with two or more owners is referred to as a partnership
10. The salt is finer than rock salt.
- made up of smaller particles
- of better quality
- freer of impurities
11. Shirley Jackson sometimes chilling, sometimes hilarious stories were largely ignored in critics at the time they were published.
12. As a child, the sharpshooter Annie Oakley hunted game with such success that, by selling it, she was able to pay off the mortgage on her family’s farm.
- athletic competition
13. All chimpanzees are extremely curious about their surroundings.
14. Furniture design and manufacture were originally the work of individuals, but by the eighteenth century, many furniture makers had teams of craftsmen to help them carry out their plans.
15. Samuel Latham Mitchell help found Rutgers Medical College in New Jersey in 1826, and he produced several important works in chemistry and geology.
Focus: Answering vocabulary in context question about words or phrases in reading passage.
Directions: Answer the questions about the vocabulary in the passage, and mark the words or phrases that are closest in meaning to the words or phrases that are asked about.
The Civil War created feverish manufacturing activity to supply critical material, especially in the North. When the fighting stopped, the stage was set for dramatic economic growth. Wartime taxes on production had vanished, and the few taxes that remained leaned heavily on real estate, not on business. The population flow from farm to city increased, and the labour force it provided was buttressed by millions of newly arrived immigrants willing to work for low wages in the mills of the North and on the railroad crews of the Midwest and West.
Government was nothing if not accommodating. It established tarrif barriers, provided loans and grants to build a transcontinental railroad, and assumed a studied posture of non-intervention in private enterprise. The social Darwinsm of British philosopher Hebert Spencer and American economist William Graham Summer prevailed. The story was that business, it left to its own devices, would cull out the week and nurture the strong. But as business expanded, the rivalry heated up. In the 1880s, five railroads operating between New York and Chicago were vying for traffic, and two more were under construction. As a result of the battle, the fare between the cities decrease to $ 1. The petroleum industry suffered from similar savage competition, and in the 1870s, many oil industries failed.
- The word “feverish” is closest in meaning to
- extremely rapid
- sickly and slow
- very dangerous
2. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “critical”
3. The phrase “the stage was set” closest to the meaning to which of the following
- The play was over
- The progress continued
- The foundation was laid
- The direction was clear
- The phrase “real estate” refer to
- tools and machines
- actual income
- new enterprises
- land and building
- The word “accommodating” closest to the meaning to
- Which of the following could be best substituted for the word “posture”
- The word “prevailed” is closest in meaning to
- The phrase “left to its own devices” means
- forced to do additional work
- allowed to do as it pleased
- made to change its plans
- encouraged to produce more goods
- The word “vying” closest in meaning to
10. The word “savage” closest in meaning to
All birds have feathers, and all animals with feathers are birds. No other major group of animals is so easy to categorize. All birds have wings, too, but wings are not peculiar to birds.
Many adaptations are found in both feathers and wings. Feathers form the soft down of geese and ducks, the long decorative plumes of ostriches, and the string flight feathers of eagle and hawks. Wings vary from the short, broad ones of chickens, which seldom fly, to the long, slim ones of albatrosses, which spend almost at their lives soaring on air currents. In Penguins, wings have been modified into flippers and feathers into a waterproof covering. In kiwis, the wings are almost impossible to detect.
Yet diversity among birds is not so striking as it is among mammals. The difference between hummingbird a penguin is immense, but hardly as startling as that between a bat and whale. It is variations in details rather than in fundamental patterns that has been important in the adaptation of birds to many kinds of ecosystems.
- The word “categorize” is closest in meaning to:
- Which is of the following is closest in meaning to the phrase “peculiar to”
- unusual for
- common to
- necessary for
- unique to
- The word “slim” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “detect” closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to word “diversity”:
- The word “hardly” is closest in meaning to:
- not clear
- not always
- The word “startling” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “fundamental” is closest in meaning to:
Manufactured in tranquil New England town of Concord, New Hampshire, the famous Concord Coach came to symbolize the Wild West. Its rugged body and suspension system of leather straps could handle the hard jolts from rough roads. A Journalist in 1868, describing a railroad shipment of 30 coaches bound for Wells, Fargo and Company, wrote, “They are splendidly decorated…. The bodies of red and the running parts yellow. Each door has a handsome picture, mostly landscapes, and not two coaches are exactly alike”.
Wells, Fargo and Company was founded in 1852 to provide mail and banking services for gold camps of California and later won a monopoly on express services west of the Mississippi. A Wells, Fargo Concord Coach carried nine to fourteen passenger plus baggage and mail. The accommodations were by no means plush. However, the stagecoach was swiftest method of travel through much of the Far West.
- The word “tranquil” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “symbolize” is closest meaning to
- Which of the following cold be best substitute for the word “rugged”
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “jolts”
- The phrase “bound for” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “splendidly” is closest in meaning to:
- belonged to
- destined for
- built by
- paid for
- The word “plush” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following is closest meaning to the word “swiftest”
- most comfortable
- most direct
The Hopi people of Arizona stress the institutions of family and religion in harmonious existence that makes the self-sacrificing individual the ideal. The Hopi individual is trained to feel his or her responsibility to and for the peaceful People-the Hopi’s own term for themselves. Fighting, bullying, or attempting to surpass others bring automatic rebuke from the community.
Implicit in the Hopi view is an original and integrated theory of the universe. With this they organize their society in such a way to obtain a measure of security from a harsh and hazardous environment made up of human foes, famine, and plagues. They conceive of the universe-humans, animals, plants, and supernatural spirits-as an ordered system functioning under a set of rules known to them alone. These rules govern their behaviour, emotion, and thoughts in a prescribed way.
- The word “stress” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following could best substitute for the word “harmonious”:
- The word “term” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “bullying” is closest in meaning to:
- The word “foes” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following could best be substituted for the word “hazardous”
- Which of the following can replace the word “rebuke”
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “prescribed”
Canadian researchers have discovered a set of genes that determine the lifespan of the common nematode, a type of worm. This finding sheds new light on the aging process that may eventually allow them to delay the inexorable process of aging and date.
By manipulating the newly discovered genes, the team of McGill University in Montreal was able to increase the life span of the nematode five-fold. Altering the genes apparently showed the metabolism of the worms to a more leisurely pace. This in turn may show the accumulation of the DNA defects thought to cause aging.
Although the cause of aging in humans are undoubtedly more involved, researchers are confident that the discoveries will provide invaluable clues about this heretofore mysterious process.
- The word “determine” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to the phrase “sheds new light on”
- contradicts what known about
- gives new meaning to
- provides new information about
- calls more attention to
- The word “inexorable” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following could best be used in place of the phrase “more leisurely”
- more relaxed
- more irregular
- The word “involved” is closest in meaning to:
- Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “clues”
- The word “heretofore” is closest in meaning to:
Application of this approach might be successful in your classes. The students may find it stimulating and enjoyable, and are eager to try it whenever an unknown word appears. They become more independent and develop learner autonomy. This approach has a positive effect on the students’ reading habits. It helps them build up confidence in their reading.
British Council Teachers. 1980. Six aspects of vocabulary teaching. RELC Journal Supplement Guidelines, 3, pp. 83–85.
Gairns, R., and S. Redman. 1986. Working with words: A guide to teaching and learning vocabulary. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K., and R. Hasan. 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
Honeyfield, J. 1977. Word frequency and the importance of context in vocabulary learning. RELC Journal, 2, pp. 35–40.
Kruse, A. F. 1979. Vocabulary in context. ELT Journal, 33, 3, pp. 207–213.
Nation, I. S. P. 1979. The curse of the comprehension question: Some alternatives. RELC Journal Supplement Guidelines, 2, pp. 85–103.
———. 1980. Strategies for receptive vocabulary learning. RELC Journal Supplement Guidelines, 3, pp. 18–23.
Nunan, D. 1991. Language teaching methodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Oxford, R., and D. Crookall. 1988. Learning strategies. In You can take it with you: Helping students maintain foreign language skills beyond the classroom, ed. J. B. Gleason. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Robinson, H. A. 1983. Teaching reading, writing, and study strategies: The content areas. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Wallace, M. 1982. Teaching vocabulary. London: Heinemann Educational Books.