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English Department Week 4

Did you manage to ask your child about any new language they were learning in their classes?

Week 4  - From the English Department

Did you manage to ask your child about any new language they were learning in their classes?

Literacy tip of the week: Decoding basics - how to understand when it’s unfamiliar.

When students come across words they don’t know it slows down the reading process and limits understanding of texts. Next week teachers will be using some simple questions to help students practise guessing what words mean. The guessing is an important habit to practise to help build enquiring minds which can tackle more complicated texts. 

Some questions your child might be hearing in class when they come across unfamiliar vocabulary, which you can use at home, include:

  • Have you HEARD this before? (They may have heard it but don’t know what it means)
  • If yes - what was the context? Does that give you any clues what it might mean?
  • Does it SOUND like another word you know? What clues does that give you?
  • Do the letters in the word suggest anything?
  • What is the context of the sentence? What MIGHT it mean?

You might pick just one word at home to ask some of these questions about. Even if it’s only one word it will reinforce what they’re learning at school and help solidify the learning at home. 

What we’re reading:

In the holidays I finished Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans. It's a non-fiction account of a young woman's spiritual journey as she started to question the fundamentals of her conservative church background. It was relatable to me because I had a similar childhood. Held Evans's style is quite witty so it was an enjoyable read. I also liked that she kept her writing respectful, though. She was changing her mind about her faith but she wasn't mocking anybody else who might still hold those beliefs. I'm writing about Held Evans in the past tense because sadly she died a few years ago. She wrote some other books that I'm looking forward to reading. - Deborah Ward 

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