Context Clues

What do you do when you don’t know a word you read?

Have you ever felt discouraged because it’s hard to read and understand English? Don’t give up!

Maybe you don’t understand the word “discouraged,” but you understand everything else.

In this case, you can ask yourself, “what other words in the sentence help to tell me the meaning of the word I don’t know?”

If you understand “felt,” then you know the next word must be some type of feeling. Felt how? Felt happy? Felt sad? Is “discouraged” probably a positive or negative word?

If you know “hard,” you can guess that “discouraged” is a negative word.

After you read, “Don’t give up!” you can be sure that “discouraged” is a negative word because there must be a reason a person would want to give up if they have to be told not to do it.


When you read, concentrate on clues such as pictures or other words in the sentence to help you understand.

What word/s could help you if you didn’t know the meaning of “clues”?

Read more to see the answer.

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What’s Happening in Class E2

This post is for both teachers and students. Teachers, you can learn about a good lesson idea that you can use in your classes. Students, you can understand how lessons are constructed and how teachers think. Enjoy!

Dinner Parties for Five

Class E2

Class E2 students know how to “stretch a dollar,” an idiom that means getting as much as you can for a little bit of money.

The Challenge

 First, each group of students had to use an Associated Supermarket flyer    to shop for food items for its imaginary dinner party for five people.  Associated is an American supermarket and labels are printed in English.

Second, each group had to plan a menu using the items they bought at the  supermarket.

Each group had a budget of $50, and they had to remember that one of  their guests did not eat cucumbers, meat or peanuts.

The Purpose

Students used realia to connect the lesson to real life. They had a chance to: (1) work in teams, (2) use their English-language skills to read and understand the flyer, (3) use their creativity to plan a menu and (4) use basic math skills.

The Results

Each group used a colored marker to write its shopping list and menu on a large sheet of poster paper. They hung them around the room for the class to examine. Then, among much laughter, each group discussed its food and menu choices and experience, as students in other groups and I asked questions. This activity was a lot of fun.

Now you can try it! You have $50. Click here to look at the supermarket flyer, then decide what you will buy. Type your shopping list in the comments section – remember to include the exact name of the product and the price!

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