How to Work out with Unfamiliar Vocabulary | IELTS Eddy Suaib

How to Work out with Unfamiliar Vocabulary

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When you try read to some passages in IELTS, you might deal with some unfamiliar vocabulary. Actually, you may not need to understand the meaning of an unknown word, unless there is a question which is related to it. Remember that there are some strategies that you can apply when you get this kind of difficulty. So, there is no need to be panic on this situation. Check on the following helpful strategies to help you.

The first is check the context. You should have a look at some words around the familiar words. You need to look particularly at the words before and after the unfamilair words. 

The second is looking for a definition. In some passages, there is a glossary provided. Go check for it first. Another way to get the meaning is by looking at some words which indicate it. The examples are “is”, “means”, “refers to”, “that is”, and consists of”. Usually, some writers realize that they need to define the unfamilar words, or simply give examples of it. So, that check at those words as the indicator. 

Besides, identifying the word’s part of speech will also be beneficial to do. Analyze whether the word is a noun, adjective, verb or a sentence. It will also help you to get the meaning.

Then, you can look at the connective word is usually located close to the unfamiliar word. It will give you some help to identify the general direction of the argument so you will get help to understand the unknown word. 

Breaking the word down into syllable will also help you to identify the meaning. The knowledge of common roots, affixes and possible similarty of words can be used maximally for solving your difficulty.

Applying the above strategies will be very advantageous for you, remembering that there is a big chance for you meeting some unfamiliar vocabulary in IELTS Reading. 

Reference: IELTS to Success Preparation Tips and Practice Tests (Melbourne: 1997)

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