Southern Nevada Regional
Professional Development
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RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Reading Strategies
Using Signal Words
Created and Developed by Jill M. Leone
Reading Specialist
Copyright © 2007
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Learn types of signal words that provide
meaning from text:
• Sequence
• Example
• Go read more
• Emphasis
• Cause & effect
• Comparison & contrast
• Conclusion
• Nonword signals
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
First, let’s talk about English in
the new millennium.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Imagine - you are standing on a cliff
overlooking the Grand Canyon.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
What words would you use to
describe the scene to your
friends and family?
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Expressions like
or
don’t really do the job, do they?
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Fortunately, the English language comes with a
huge storehouse of words for expressing our
thoughts and ideas.
WORDS
R
US
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
BK English, Communication Skills in the New Millennium, 2002, Barrett Kendall Publishing
There are almost a million words in the English
language.
As readers, writers, listeners, and lifelong
learners, we need to train ourselves to be aware
of new words when we see and hear them –
and different ways of using old words.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Building a large vocabulary will
increase the power of anything you
say and write.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
English is the major language throughout
the world in politics, science, technology,
and trade. Every day new words are added,
and dictionaries grow thicker and thicker.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
BK English, Communication Skills in the New Millennium, 2002, Barrett Kendall Publishing
Not only have different cultures influenced
English, but computer technology has
also had a huge influence on the way
we use English.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
At one time, the word surf required a
board and some waves.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Now, the word surf can mean “to skim
television channels with the remote control,” or
“to move quickly from one Web page to another
on the Internet.”
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
BK English, Communication Skills in the New Millennium, 2002, Barrett Kendall Publishing
The technology revolution has had a huge
impact on the way we use language.
Many computer terms are old words that
have taken on new meanings.
Take the word mouse. It no longer just
means “a small, furry, animal.” It also
means a handheld computer device.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
BK English, Communication Skills in the New Millennium, 2002, Barrett Kendall Publishing
More examples of old words with new meanings:
Word
Original Meaning
New Meaning
crash
collide
computer failure
hang
suspend
freeze up
enter
go in
add data to
computer memory
What about online, log on, Internet, and
Website? These are all new terms.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
There’s no way to know how English will change in
this century, but one thing’s true:
The English language will continue to change as
cultures come into closer contact and technology
continues to influence the way we speak and think.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Some words and phrases help us understand
the passages we read, how fast we should
read them, and how important their
information is.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
You’d read a document carefully if it involved
money and you’re signing a new car agreement.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
You’d also pay careful
attention to direction words if you
were preparing a special meal or -
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Lost in the desert and trying to figure
out how to find your way back to
Las Vegas.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
They often leave behind clues to help
us sort words we read into groups of –
• main ideas
• supporting details
• conclusions
• and summaries.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
A clue is something that guides us in
the solution of a problem or mystery.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Clue words and phrases help us to:
• understand the passages.
• know how fast we should read.
• decide the importance of information.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
• Usually located at the beginning
of a sentence
• Followed by a comma
• The writer’s way of getting
reader’s attention
• Show us how to get meaning
from upcoming information
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Signal words are
words that say:
STOP!
There’s a clue here
to help you
understand!
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
first
second
later
next
before
now
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
then
later
following
since
finally
last
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
also
besides
in addition
furthermore
again
as well
and
too
and so
one reason
another
other
Also, you need to turn in your paper.
Furthermore, they’re all sold out.
One reason is we can’t get tickets.
Another detour sign!
Besides, that bag is
too heavy.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
• for example
• for instance
• such as
• much like
• specifically
• to illustrate
• for this reason
• similar to
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
For example, rap,
hip hop, and R&B…
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
above all
a key feature
no doubt
most of all
remember that
more than anything else
pay careful attention to
a major factor
Above all, I thank my friends.
A key feature is the alarm.
No doubt, you want to get a license.
Most of all, it helped my GPA.
Remember that you have homework.
Pay careful attention to these words.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
and
or
also
too
best
most
either
more
less
same
better
even
like
but
different
yet
however
although
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
The students had the same answers.
The weather in Phoenix is a lot like Las Vegas.
That hotel pays more than the one downtown.
Chicken is better for you than a cheeseburger.
He wants to play soccer but he’s ineligible.
That store is more expensive than the Kmart.
She has the most points of anyone in our class.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
because
as a result
so that
cause
consequently
whether if...
in order that
then
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
since
so
therefore
due to
reason
unless
result in
thus
reason
for
Because of the drought, we must water less.
As a result of speeding, he received a ticket.
She earned straight A’s. Consequently, she’s
on the high honor roll.
Since I forgot my wallet, I missed the movie.
Due to the traffic, we went home another way.
Turning in all my homework can result in a
higher grade.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
although
despite
however
in spite of
rather
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
but
yet
though
while
in contrast
instead of
nevertheless otherwise
even though
still
on the contrary
on the other hand
different from
In spite of the weather, the team still played.
Rather than go to the party, let’s stay home.
He went for his license last week. However,
he did not pass the written test.
Maria’s boss could not afford to pay overtime.
Nevertheless, Maria stayed late to help him.
On the contrary, the only time he missed
practice was yesterday.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
This ends the discussion and may
have special importance.
as a result
finally
hence
in conclusion
from this we see
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
consequently
therefore
last of all
in summary
In conclusion, we will not be attending the game.
Finally, I have my own car.
Her cousins are visiting from California.
Therefore, she must stay home this weekend.
Last of all, I turned off the light and went to sleep.
In summary, these are the candidates I would
choose for President.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Exclamation point (!)
Underline
Capitals and italics
Bold type
Subheads, like the conclusion
Indentation of paragraph
Graphic illustrations
Numbered points (1, 2, 3)
Very short sentence: stop war.
“Quotation marks”
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
 Use the overall
context of the page.
 Make an inference.
 Always use your
prior knowledge.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
These are the same
words that make your
writing assignments much
more organized, detailed,
and interesting to read?
Your teachers call them
transition words.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
How do we
use signal
words?
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Practice Question
Moviegoers usually dislike film
monsters. ____________, filmgoers
pitied King Kong and even shed tears
at his death.
Which signal word fits best here?
A. At the same time
B. Consequently
C. Above all
D. However
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Practice Question
Fish die when lakes are contaminated
with acid rain. The dangers in our
environment will eventually affect all
life on earth. ________, we must pay
attention to early warning signals.
Which signal word fits best here?
A. On the other hand
B. Therefore
C. On the contrary
D. Otherwise
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Practice Question
I woke up with a big headache, and my head
felt like it was burning. ______ I knew Jan was
having a big birthday party next weekend, and I
knew she’d invite me if I saw her in school. So
I got ready for school no matter how I felt.
Which signal word fits best here?
A. Furthermore
B. Finally
C. Yet
D. Otherwise
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Signal Words & Punctuation
Setting off introductory (signal word)
phrases with a comma lets the reader
know that the main subject and main
verb of the sentence come later.
In fact, Godzilla is just a misunderstood
teen lizard of giant proportions.
On the other hand, we sometimes enjoy
movies with sad endings.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Introductory words create continuity and
transition from one sentence to the next.
The evidence seemed convincing.
Nevertheless, the credibility of the
witnesses was in question.
The coaches reviewed the game
strategy. However, the team lost.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
 Think about what you’re reading.
 Connect it to what you already know.
 Check how passages are organized.
 Look for word clues provided by the
writer.
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Good readers also:
• ask questions
• interpret information
• draw conclusions
• challenge information
• react to what they read
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Today we discussed –
Types of signal word clues
 Sequence
 Example
 Go read more
 Emphasis
 Cause & effect
 Comparison & contrast
 Conclusion
 Nonword signals
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
Copyright Notice
Permission is granted to copy (unmodified) all or part
of this PowerPoint for educational, personal, noncommercial use off-line as long as the copyright
message (Copyright © 2007 by Jill Leone) is
maintained on the title page. This material may not
be sold, duplicated on other websites, incorporated
in commercial documents or products, or used for
promotional purposes.
Copyright © 2007 by Jill M. Leone
RPDP Secondary
Literacy
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