Method 9 Word Clearing is a simple, yet very effective method of Word Clearing. One student can do it with another or it can be done by a professional Word Clearer on a student. It does not require the use of a Meter and is thus easier to do than many of the other methods of Word Clearing and easier to get widely applied.
It can be applied among students of any subject. With the fundamental training covered they can be twinned up and do it on a turn-about basis. The basic set-up is simply a student and a Word Clearer (often another student) sitting across from each other, each with a copy of the same materials in front of them. The student reads aloud to the Word Clearer and the Word Clearer pays great attention to any non-optimum reaction of the student as that is an indicator of misunderstood words or symbols. The types of non-optimum reactions to look for, such as stumbling, mispronouncing, adding or leaving out words, etc. are listed at length in this chapter. The misunderstoods are found and cleared and the reading aloud continues from the point where the misunderstood was found. Doing this kind of Word Clearing on a regular basis also has the effect of teaching the student by example to look up any suspected misunderstood word or symbol when he studies on his own.
The ten principal types of MUs are:
2. An invented definition: An invented definition is a
type of a false definition. The person made it up himself or he was given
somebody else's made up idea. This can be difficult to find as he is certain he knows it
- after all he invented it himself. But usually it does read on a
3. An incorrect definition: A definition that is not right but may have something to do with the word or symbol. Example: A student reads the word 'image' (like how an actor is perceived by the fans) and takes it to mean painting or drawing. The two meanings are related but lead to MU's and confusion in the student's mind.
4. An incomplete definition: A definition that just isn't precise enough or is insufficient. Example: The person reads the word "office" and thinks it means "room." The definition of the word "office" is: "a room or building which holds an administrative business activity."
5. An unsuitable definition: A definition by itself is correct, but does not fit the context in which it is used. It causes the student not to be able to understand the sentence correctly. Example: The person hears the sentence: "he is dressing a turkey." The person understands "dressing" as "putting clothes on." That is one definition of "dressing" but it is not the definition used in the sentence. The definition of "dressing" that applies is: "making ready to cook."
6. A homonymic definition: One word which has two or more clearly different meanings. A homonym can also be two (or more) words that sound the same ("piece" and "peace" for example). This can cause the student not to understand the text right. Examples: to box (sport); a box (container). Piece (a part of something). Peace (opposite of war).
7. A Substitute Definition: A substitute definition occurs when a person uses a synonym for the definition of a word. A synonym is not a definition. A synonym is a word having a meaning similar to that of another word. Example: The person reads the word "portly" and thinks the definition of the word is "fat." "Fat" is a synonym for the word "portly." But "portly" means: "of a stately appearance; impressive, especially because of size." One needs to learn the full definition of a word as well as its synonyms.
8. An omitted (missing) definition: An omitted definition
is a definition of a word that the person is missing; it can be omitted from the
dictionary he is using. In other words, the word is used in a meaning the
student doesn't know, but he thinks he does. This can often have to do with
slang or humor.
9. A No-definition: A no-definition is a
"not-understood" word or symbol.
10. A rejected definition: A rejected definition is a definition of a word which the person will not accept. This can be based on emotional reactions to it. The person finds the definition degrading to himself or his group, etc. He may have a total misunderstood on the word and still refuse to have it explained or to look it up. Example: A person runs into the musical expression "C Minor", but knows that belongs to classical music and he finds people with that interest too intellectual and the type that look down on him. He is totally unwilling to look it up. 'C minor' is a musical key, meaning the musical scale the piece of music is written in. It starts on the note 'C'.
If a person has gone past many, many misunderstood words in his reading or education his ability to read has been lowered considerably. It will seriously affect his ability to do anything in that field and it will affect his intelligence as well. What he himself writes and says wonít be understood, what he reads and hears he wonít understand and he will generally be out of communication. In extreme cases he will become a sort of robot or zombie. Criminal acts can often, when traced back extensively, be traced back to many, many misunderstoods. You will be amazed that somebody who appears to be a criminal idiot all of a sudden begins to look like a 'genius' after he has been given extensive Word Clearing.
Points to Note
If he then passes a word or symbol he doesn't understand this will cause an interruption of his understanding. If he reads aloud, such as in Method 9, he will stumble, hesitate; he may have a facial reaction or some body-reaction. The misunderstood itself causes a blank in the student's mind and this in turn causes the mistake or reaction. If he goes on reading, he will feel duller and less interested in the subject. He will have to use more effort and self-discipline to go on. There will always be some kind of non-optimum reaction after passing a misunderstood. The most common reactions are:
1. Student adding a word or leaving out a word or changing a word in the sentence he is reading. 2. Student stumbling on a word or saying it incorrectly. 3. Student pausing or reading more slowly. 4. Student frowning or looking uncertain. 5. Student going stiff or tense in some way. He may squint his eyes, bite his lip, lift an eyebrow or show some other facial expression. 6. Student reading with effort. 7. Student reading with a glib, robotic attitude. Other manifestations can occur.
A student can of course stumble if he is trying to read in too dim a light or has eye trouble or the text is poorly printed and is very hard to make out. Thus it is necessary to do M9 Word Clearing only in bright light. If the student is supposed to be wearing glasses he should be wearing glasses and the material being Word Cleared must be clearly printed or copied and not contain deletions or corrections.
All possible reasons why he cannot read the text easily have to be removed. Otherwise, the student will simply say he couldnít see it or the light was bad or some other wrong Why. Any time the person makes an error in his reading or reacts in some non-optimum way, a misunderstood will always be found. It may be just before that point or at that point itself.
The Glib Student
This seems to be the way of life in much schooling and education today. The student is taught to suppress any of the non-optimum reactions we are talking about here and just carry on without understanding. The written materials get more and more unreal to him. It becomes robotic memorizing with no ability to relate to the written word or apply it. Since this phenomenon is very common we need to comment on how to deal with it.
You can spot a glib student on Method 9 by the robotic way he reads and sounds. Some students change drastically when they start to read from when you were talking to them just before. This should make you suspicious. (It does not necessarily mean he is glib but it does mean his reading skills need improvement).
One step you can take on such a student is to ask, "Have you ever been told or taught to suppress any reactions to words when reading?" This takes some of the tension off the situation and makes Method 9 easier to do for real. It may take a few hours of Method 9 Word Clearing before such bad habits are broken and the underlying problem handled. But the more open and honest the student is about the reactions he experiences while reading, the faster it goes.
Another way to break the bad habits of the glib student is to have him read a paragraph, then have him make a demonstration to show he understands what he has read. This may be a shock to him at first as it never occurred to him it meant anything that had anything to do with his understanding. But little by little the bad habits leading to the glib student phenomenon are broken and Method 9 will work faster and deeper.
Common Reading Materials
Method 9 Procedure
2. Dictionaries: A good, simple English language dictionary, and any other dictionaries the student may need, are available. (See section on dictionaries to choose the best ones for that student). Also a simple grammar and other handbooks should be at available, including an encyclopedia.
3. Student Instructions: The Word Clearer tells the student that if he sees a word he doesnít understand he should stop and look up the word in the dictionary and clear it as that is the whole purpose of the drill. Also, the student should be encouraged throughout to find and clear misunderstood words himself. An important part of Method 9 is to educate the student in this. M9 improves the student's ability to recognize misunderstoods and teaches him by example to find and clear his own misunderstoods in the future. In a more thorough literacy program the beginning step in Word Clearing would be to use Method 8 on many basic words as this will speed up such program tremendously.
4. Student reads aloud: The student reads the text aloud to the Word Clearer. The Word Clearer follows it in his own copy of the text. He keeps an eye on any physical reactions on the part of the student and listens to any indicators of misunderstoods as well, such as hesitation, stumbling over a word, or mis-pronunciation. The Word Clearer must be able to see or hear any and all non-optimum reactions of the student while he is reading.
5. Non-optimum reactions: A non-optimum reaction by the student while reading is the first thing the Word Clearer is looking for. That is an indicator of a misunderstood word. The Word Clearer and student must now locate the exact misunderstood word or symbol. It will be found just before the non-optimum reaction. Sometimes it will be at the point where the reaction occurred.
6. Finding the misunderstood: If the student just continues reading past such a reaction the Word Clearer says, "Thatís it. Is there some word or symbol there that you didnít understand?" The Word Clearer now steers the student to the misunderstood. It is either at the point of the non-optimum reaction or before it. The Word Clearer gets the student to find it or spot-checks words until it is found. The word or symbol is then looked up. If the student has difficulties finding it the Word Clearer's duty is to help him find it. The Word Clearer guides the student by getting him to look earlier and earlier in the text from the point where he reacted until the misunderstood word is found. As mentioned, the Word Clearer can also spot-check the student. Spot-checking means the Word Clearer picks words from the text the student has already read and asks the student for the definitions of those words. If the student is uncertain about any word or gives a wrong definition then that word is taken up and cleared with a dictionary.
7. Clearing the word: Once found, the misunderstood is fully cleared with the dictionary. Most words have several or many definitions in the dictionary. The first definition of these to clear is the definition that is used in the text. This is not necessarily the first definition in the dictionary.
Don't try to clear any other definitions before clearing the one he is stuck in as it would cause him to work over a misunderstood word. The Word Clearer goes quickly over the definitions to find the one that fits the context and clears that with the student. Once that is done the remaining definitions are cleared.
Clearing the Word - Step by Step
Clear the other definitions for that word: Then have the student read and clear the other definitions of that word, one by one. For each word, he is made to use it in sentences until he has a conceptual understanding of that definition.
Clear Derivation: Next is to clear the derivation; that is the explanation of where the word came from originally. This will help him gain a basic understanding of the word.
Skip specialized definitions: Donít clear the technical or specialized definitions (Math., Biology, etc.) or obsolete (no longer used) or archaic (ancient and no longer in general use) definitions unless the word is being used that way in the text being Word Cleared.
Clear Idioms: An idiom is a phrase or expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of the words. For example, 'give iní is an English idiom meaning 'yieldí. Quite a few words in English have idiomatic uses and these are usually given in a dictionary after the definitions of the word itself. These idioms have to be cleared.
Clear Synonyms and Info: The Word Clearer also clears synonyms and any other information given about the word, such as notes on its usage etc. If the student runs into a misunderstood word or symbol in the definition of a word being cleared this must be cleared right away using this same procedure and then return to the definition he was clearing. Among things that routinely has to be cleared in the dictionary are symbols and abbreviations used. Definitions of abbreviations are usually given in the front of the dictionary.
Read it again: The Word Clearer now has the student read the sentence in the text again in which the misunderstood word or symbol was found. The Word Clearer makes sure the student now understands the sentence/ paragraph that contained the misunderstood word. The Word Clearer asks the student to tell him what the sentence or paragraph means unless the student tells it by himself. Never just let the student continue reading with no comprehension of the text that contained the misunderstood.
If the student still doesnít understand the sentence or paragraph there will be another misunderstood word or symbol that needs to be found and cleared. This will most likely be earlier.
Only when he fully understands the section or the text that contained the misunderstood is the student allowed to continue. He picks it up from the sentence that had the misunderstood in it. This may be earlier than the point where he had the non-optimum reaction. Any further non-optimum reactions are handled by finding the next misunderstood word or symbol and clearing it, as above.
Completing Method 9: This method is continued until the text to be Word Cleared is completed.
Examiner: The student should be sent to the Examiner after a Method 9 session. An Examiner has a Meter. He has the student on the Meter for a brief moment. No conversation is encouraged. The Examiner simply notes Meter reactions and student's indicators (if he looks pleased or upset) and notes it down. In case the student seems upset or has a non-optimum reaction it is assumed that the Word Clearing session didn't go well and should be reviewed. What the examiner wants to see is a Floating Needle and Very Good Indicators (F/N VGIs). He will say: "Your needle is floating", if it does. That means the session went well and is the Examiner's acknowledgement of that all is well.
Common Reactions and Their Handling
Here is a list of the most common student reactions and the correct handlings by the Word Clearer:
Student Stumbles or says a word incorrectly
'Considerí is now looked up, but the student canít seem to get the meaning, even though he understands all the words in the definition. The Word Clearer asks, "Tell me, what part of speech is 'considerí in that sentence?" The student says, "I am not sure." The Word Clearer says, "Okay; the dictionary says 'Verbí. What does that mean to you?" Student: "I am not sure". The Word Clearer gets a grammar book and says, "Here is a definition of 'verbí." 'Verbí is then cleared with the grammar book. At some point the student says, "Hey, I always thought you could only have one verb in one sentence and this sentence has two verbs in it. That is what confused me." It all gets straightened out and the M9 can continue. He uses 'consider' in several sentences until he fully understands it. Then they go over the next definition of 'considerí in the dictionary. After all the definitions of 'considerí are cleared the Word Clearer has the student re-read the sentence. The student can now do it without error. The Word Clearer now asks him what the sentence means and the student can now tell him accurately.
Student Hesitates, Pauses or Reads More Slowly
Student Frowns, Looks Uncertain, Stiff or Seems to
The Word Clearer says, "Okay. Was there any misunderstood word or symbol there?" The student says, "I have some attention on the word 'atí, but Iíve looked that up before." The Word Clearer says, "Well, letís have another look at it." 'Atí is now looked up and cleared and the student realizes that he hadnít fully cleared all of the definitions when he had previously looked it up. Each definition of 'atí is cleared fully and then the Word Clearer asks the student to re-read the paragraph where it occurred and tell him what it means. The student understands it now so the M9 is continued from the sentence that had the word 'atí in it. The student can now read it all smoothly.
Student Changes a Word
The student looks at the words 'thení, 'girlí and 'theí. He knows those words. So he looks in the sentence earlier. In that sentence he sees the word 'angoraí as in angora cat. Heís not sure what that is. He tells the Word Clearer and they clear the word 'angoraí. The Word Clearer now has the student re-read the sentence that had the misunderstood in it and the following sentence. The student does this and the Word Clearer ensures he now understands the sentences. They carry on with the M9 starting with the sentence that has the word 'angoraí in it.
Student Adds a Word
The student looks over the sentence. He says he understands all the words, but thinks the sentence should say, "A boy is going to school" rather than, "The boy is going to school." The Word Clearer says, "Okay, letís spot-check some words. What does 'theí mean in this sentence?" The student looks blank for a moment and doesnít say anything. The Word Clearer says, " Weíre going to look up the word 'theí." 'Theí is then looked up and cleared. In such a situation a grammar book may come in handy. Now that the word 'theí is cleared the student takes a look at the sentence again and the Word Clearer asks him to tell what it means. The student now understands the sentence. The M9 is continued from that point.
Student Leaves Out a Word
The student looks at the sentence. He canít find anything that is misunderstood. The Word Clearer asks him to look over the sentence before that. The student canít find any misunderstood there either. The Word Clearer sends the student looking earlier and earlier in the text and finally the student spots the misunderstood word in the last sentence of the previous page. The word is now cleared. The Word Clearer tells the student to re-read the sentence that the misunderstood was in. The student reads the sentence and stops. The Word Clearer says: "All right, is there another word or symbol there that you donít understand?" They now look even earlier. They find another word that the student passed that he didnít understand. The word is cleared and the student reads the earlier passage again where the misunderstood was found. The student now understands the passage fully. The M9 is continued from that point in the text.
The above examples give you an idea of how it is handled. The pattern follows the steps above closely. Here are some other examples of non-optimum manifestations the Word Clearer would take up:
Student Leaves out a Grammatical Ending of a Word
The Student gets Tense
Student Goes Robotic
The bottom line on all this is, where there is a non-optimum reaction in the student a misunderstood word will be found. It is usually before the point of the reaction. The misunderstood can always be located. It may take good communication, persistence, and having confidence in the Word Clearing tech.
Word Clearer's Misunderstoods
The Word Clearer has to have his attention on the student as well as on his copy of the material so as to pick up physical reactions.
When two students Word Clear each other on the same materials they do it on a frequent turn-about basis.
The first student gets Word Cleared on one section, such as half a page or one page, then they turn around and the other student gets Word Cleared Method 9 on the same section. This prevents the accumulation of misunderstoods on the part of the Word Clearer.
TR's and Method
Arguments and Upsets
1. The "Misunderstood" looked up wasn't really
To handle (1) you can ask, if he was made to look up words he already understood. If this is the case, the student will brighten up and you simply allow him to tell you about it, including what words, and acknowledge his answer. You can now continue M9.
If this doesn't seem to handle the situation you assume, that misunderstoods have been missed. You ask where the student was last doing really well. You go back to there and if it isn't rapidly resolved, you simply start doing M9 there, even if it is "all over again"; something was obviously missed. You will usually find several misunderstoods if it led to an upset or argument, not just one misunderstood.
Worksheets are stapled to the studentís Examiner Form when the Word Clearing is complete. They are put in the student's pc folder.