Lesson 10 - Tutoring English Language Learners Illinois State Library

Using Contextual Clues to Illustrate Words

Santos is an English Language Learner who is not literate in his native language. He wants to improve his English so he can understand his work better. When he works with his tutor, she uses the actual tools he uses in his employment to illustrate words. She also uses every new word in a simple sentence like "This is a hammer" to link the meaning to the word. The sentence (because he is at a very beginning level and not literate in his own language) is simple and does not include other vocabulary that might confuse. Santos also generates sentences that his tutor writes out for him.

This tutor is aware that using contextual clues is essential.