Reading Glossary

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General reading terms used in MNPS for grades K-12.

affix

a bound morpheme (prefix, suffix, or combining form) that changes the meaning or function of the word to which it is attached. For example, "pre-," "-tion," and "-logy."

appeal to authority

- the author's ability to give credence to an argument by using an individual or other source as an expert.

appeal to reason

an author's ability to persuade the reader through an appeal to rational thinking.

connotation

the ideas and feelings associated with the word as opposed to its dictionary definition. For example, the word mother in addition to its basic meaning (a female parent) has connotations of love, warmth, and security.

context clue

- information from the immediate textual setting that helps identify a word or word group, as by words, phrases, sentences, illustrations, syntax, etc.

contextual analysis

- search for the meaning of an unknown word through an examination of its context.

copyright

the right granted by law to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to the exclusive publication, production, sale or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic piece of work. In the US this right extends for 28 years.

digraphs

two letters that represent one speech sound, such as "ch" for /ch/ in chin or "ea" for /e/ in bread.

diphthong

is made up of two vowels blended together to make one sound. For example, cloud, boy, oil, cow, new.

denotation

the explicit or direct meaning of a word or expression as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with or suggested by it; dictionary definition.

etymology

- the study of the history and development of the structures and meanings of words; derivation.

fluency

- the process of automatically, accurately, and rapidly recognizing words; reading smoothly without hesitation and with comprehension.

header

a text feature that includes headlines, heading, etc.

homograph

a word with the same spelling as another word, whether or not it is pronounced alike as: bow (and arrow) vs. bow (of a ship) or pen (a writing instrument) vs. pen (an enclosure).

homophone

a word with different origin or meaning but the same pronunciation as another word, whether or not it is spelled alike, as "hare" and "hair" or "scale" (of fish) and "scale" (a ladder).

inflectional ending

suffixes that change the number, case, or gender when added to nouns; the tense when added to verbs; and the form when added to adjectives or adverbs.

mood

the emotional state of mind expressed by an author in his/her work; atmosphere.

morpheme

- (word part) the smallest unit of meaning in language (e.g., under).

plagiarism

- the theft and use of ideas or writings from an existing source presented as one's own.

phoneme

the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one utterance or word from another in a given language. The "m" of mat and the "b" of bat are two English phonemes.

phoneme blending

- the process whereby the student listens to the teacher pronounce a series of isolated sounds. The student listens to the sounds and puts them together to make a word (e.g., The teacher says, c/a/t; the student says, cat.).

phoneme isolation

the process whereby the teacher says a word slowly. The student is asked to identify the sounds heard within the word (e.g., The teacher says, cat; the student says c/a/t.).

phonemic awareness

the awareness that language is composed of small sounds.

phonics

a way of teaching reading and spelling that stresses sound-symbol relationships.

reading to learn

- the use of reading skills to acquire knowledge, broaden understandings, and develop appreciations.

scan

- to examine or read something quickly but selectively for a purpose.

self-monitoring

when a reader uses information from any source to check his/her own reading. This is not a conscious process, but an internal system that tells the reader whether the reading makes sense.

SIRS

Social Issues Resource Series - original periodical reprints on a variety of social issues, either in notebooks, CD-ROM, or online services.

skim

to glance rapidly; to get an overview of the text.

SQ3R

a reading to learn strategy that includes the following process: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.

structural analysis

the identification of word meaning elements to help understand the meaning of a word as a whole, such as "re-" and "read" in the word reread.

syntax

the way words are put together in a sentence.

TEL

Tennessee Electronic Library - an online index equivalent to a Reader's Guide of Periodical Literature

text

printed communications in their varied forms; oral communications, including conversation and speeches; visual communication such as film, video, and computer displays.

tone

the writer's implied attitude toward the subject matter or audience of a text that readers may infer from the text's language, imagery, and structure. (as compared to mood - the effect created by the writer's use of literary devices).

word chunking

in contrast to sounding out words by looking at individual letters, word chunking includes using a combination of letter-sound information that goes together such as letter clusters "gr" + "and" = grand, "st" + "and" = stand. This type of visual processing aids in quick recognition of word parts and enhances comprehension.

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