Semantic Cueing System
The semantic cueing system is one of three deep structure systems that govern meaning making during reading and writing. For readers, it is the ability to make connections to ideas and concepts that relate to a newly learned word. For writers, it relates to word choice, usage, and voice.
“The semantic system encompasses all we know and are able to do with respect to understanding word meanings, from the most basic knowledge of a word’s definition to the subtle ways writers precisely choose the best word for a particular context to all associations, feelings, and memories we have surrounding a word or phrase. We have long understood the need for vocabulary instruction that creates a conceptual base for new words, helps children build a personal set of associations for the words they know, and encourages students to use increasingly subtle and complex words in their spoken and written language.
Effective semantic system instruction focuses on building an extensive vocabulary that is enriched by the user’s experiences, emotions, and memories related to the word. We remember word meanings when they are associated with other words and background knowledge in long-term memory” (Keene, 2008, p. 112).1
In the following video of a small guided reading group, building vocabulary knowledge is showcased as students create meaning, build concepts, and deepen language critical to text comprehension.
1Keene, E. (2008). To understand: New horizons in reading comprehension. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.