Stage 4 reading - Vocabulary in context

Learning intention

Students explore and use precise vocabulary in a wide range of contexts. Students examine vocabulary elements such as morphology, and how nuance and connotation can impact meaning.

Syllabus outcome (2022)

  • EN4-RVL-01: uses a range of personal, creative and critical strategies to read texts that are complex in their ideas and construction
  • EN4URA-01: analyses how meaning is created through the use of and response to language forms, features and structures
  • EN4-URB-01: examines and explains how texts represent ideas, experiences and values

Syllabus outcome (2012)*

  • EN4-2A: effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies
  • EN4-3B: uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts

*Note: Visit the Leading curriculum K-12 website for more information on the syllabus implementation timeline.

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT9: applies knowledge of root words and word origins to understand the meaning of unfamiliar, discipline specific words (vocabulary); uses a range of context and grammatical cues to understand unfamiliar words (vocabulary)

  • UnT10: demonstrates an understanding of nuances and subtleties in words of similar meaning (e.g. frustrated, discouraged, baffled) (vocabulary); verifies interpretations of unfamiliar words using grammatical and contextual cues (vocabulary)
  • UnT11: interprets complex, formal and impersonal language in academic texts (vocabulary); demonstrates self-reliance in exploration and application of word learning strategies (vocabulary)

NAPLAN item descriptors

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.


The SEEC process (Select, Explain, Explore, Consolidate) can be used to explicitly teach vocabulary.


Students identify and use affixes with base words.

Synonyms and antonyms

Students consider ways to enhance texts with antonyms, synonyms, verbs and adjectives.


Students read text extracts and consider the nuances between words that would be most appropriate to maintain the meaning of the text. Students identify the word that they have selected and explain why they think it best fits with the extract.

Word clines

Students categorise words then place them on an incline as a word cline.


Students learn how connotation is subjective and can differ between a reader depending on their own personal backgrounds and experiences.

Context clues

Students use context clues to help determine the meaning of unknown words.

Cloze passage

Students predict vocabulary.

Using words

Students complete a vocabulary map for various words.

Vocabulary in context

Students use precise vocabulary to enhance reader understanding and enjoyment .


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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