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Ch 4: MTEL: Determining the Meaning of Words

About This Chapter

Work through these lessons on finding the meaning behind an author's words through analysis of word choice and figures of speech to get ready for the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills test. Measure your progress by taking the lesson quizzes and chapter test.

MTEL: Determining the Meaning of Words - Chapter Summary

Textual analysis is a key part of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills exam, and here, we help you polish your skills in that area. Our experienced instructors give you a review of how to deconstruct the words of a text to find the deeper meaning and author's intent, with lessons describing how to:

  • Evaluate lexical relationships
  • Use prior knowledge, word structure, and context to construct meaning
  • Interpret and understand figurative language and puns
  • Recognize antonyms, synonyms, oxymorons, clichés, paradoxes, and equivocations
  • Evaluate similes, metaphors, and personification

Our lessons pack loads of great information into targeted, bite-sized chunks to make your review as painless and flexible as possible. The videos are formatted to work just as well on your mobile device as they do on your home computer, giving you additional mobility so you can study on the bus or on your couch. Self-assessments in the lessons and at the end of the chapter help you to see how well you're doing and where you may want to repeat lessons for greater understanding of key concepts.

MTEL: Determining the Meaning of Words Objectives

This chapter is built to respond mainly to Objective 0001 in the reading subtest of the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam. There, you are required to demonstrate an ability to understand an author's meaning through the content of their writing. Objective 0001 contains 6-8 multiple-choice questions which represent about 16.7% of the overall subtest content. You must achieve a score of 240 from the scale of 100-300 on each subtest to pass the exam and receive your educator's license.

Register for the exam on the MTEL website. There, you will also find more information on what to expect at the testing center, when your score report will be published, and detailed descriptions of the test and its objectives. You will be able to take each subtest individually or in one four-hour session.

11 Lessons in Chapter 4: MTEL: Determining the Meaning of Words
Understanding Words By Their Relationships

1. Understanding Words By Their Relationships

Many words in the English language have multiple meanings. To really understand a word, we have to understand the relationship between particular words. In this lesson, we will examine this through connotations, denotations, synonyms, and analogies.

Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

2. Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

In this lesson, you will learn how readers use prior knowledge, context clues and word structure to aid their understanding of what they read. Explore these strategies through examples from literature and everyday life.

What Are Synonyms & Antonyms? - Definition & Examples

3. What Are Synonyms & Antonyms? - Definition & Examples

We use synonyms and antonyms in language usually without even noticing. Watch this video lesson to see examples and learn how to use each effectively for communication.

How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words

4. How to Use Context to Determine the Meaning of Words

With diligence and intrepid ingenuity, you can use context to ascertain the purport of a word. In other words, in this lesson, we'll find out how to use context to figure out what words mean.

Using Structural Analysis to Determine the Meaning of Words

5. Using Structural Analysis to Determine the Meaning of Words

Discover the importance of using structural analysis to understand unfamiliar words. In this lesson, we'll discuss how to divide unknown words into known pieces to comprehend their overall meanings.

Interpreting Figurative Language in Fiction

6. Interpreting Figurative Language in Fiction

In this lesson, we will discuss how to interpret figurative language in fiction. We will explore several types of figurative language and learn how to identify them.

Understanding Figurative Language in Poetry

7. Understanding Figurative Language in Poetry

Poetry is difficult to define, but there's one characteristic that most poems share - figurative language. In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify and draw inferences from figurative language.

Pun in Literature: Definition & Examples

8. Pun in Literature: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we'll briefly review figurative language. Furthermore, we'll look closer at one type of figurative language: the pun. You'll be able to analyze some examples of the pun and see why it's used.

How to Recognize and Use Oxymorons

9. How to Recognize and Use Oxymorons

In this lesson, we will define the figure of speech called an oxymoron and look at several examples. We will then discuss how to recognize oxymorons and use them correctly in writing.

Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

10. Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

Learn about cliches, paradoxes, and equivocations, and how they can weaken or strengthen certain types of writing. Explore examples of all three from literature and daily life.

Similes, Metaphors & Personification in Poetry

11. Similes, Metaphors & Personification in Poetry

Comparison is the basis of figurative language, and the most common forms of poetic comparison are simile, metaphor, and personification. In this lesson, you'll define all three terms and see several examples of each.

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