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Making inferences: Exercises
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# Making inferences (definition, strategies, exercises)

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Introduction on "making inferences" to ESL, 9th grade students.

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### Making inferences (definition, strategies, exercises)

1. 1. This is sometimes called “reading between the lines”. When you make an inference, you use all of the information that you have available at a time to guess what is “behind” the literal information of a text… In other words, you go beyond what is stated explicitly in the text to infer the intended message by paying attention to certain “clues”
2. 2. You infer why things happen, why characters behave the way they do, and how characters are feeling. You enter the world created by the author, and you create images and inferences based on what the author tells you and your own knowledge and beliefs about that world. In order to infer meaning, readers must combine the information that the author has written with their own experiences—both reading experiences and life experiences.
3. 3. If the teacher writes information on the board during a lesson… You infer that it is important information that you may need later (so you will write it in your copybook). If your mum tells you to carry an umbrella… You infer that it will possibly rain. If you see your boss arguing with an employer… You infer it is not the right moment to ask for a raise. NOTE: You may not always be correct in your inferences, but they are assumptions that you make based on the given clues.
4. 4. You already know how to make everyday inferences! Let’s look at a few scenarios and infer about what is going on.
5. 5. You go home and see your father shouting and a bit violent… 1. Would you ask him for permission to go to a party? 2. Would you ask him for money?
6. 6. You go home and see your father shouting and a bit violent… 1. Would you ask him for permission to go to a party? 2. Would you ask him for money? If your father acts in that way, he must be angry. For that reason, it is not the right moment to ask for money or permission. If your father acts in that way, he must be angry. For that reason, it is not the right moment to ask for money or permission.
7. 7. You are watching a movie and you see a bloody knife… 1. What may have happened?
8. 8. You are watching a movie and you see a bloody knife… 1. What may have happened? If you see a bloody knife it is possible that someone was killed. If you see a bloody knife it is possible that someone was killed.
9. 9. Look at the picture… 1.Where are they? 2.Who are they? 3.Why the man wants someone to invent a faster clock?
10. 10. 1.- For the poster that says “Patents”, the piles of documents, the drawer and the books, we can infer that they are in an office (Patents Office). 1.- For the poster that says “Patents”, the piles of documents, the drawer and the books, we can infer that they are in an office (Patents Office). 2.- As it is an office, they are office workers. 2.- As it is an office, they are office workers. 3.- As he “wishes someone would invent a faster clock”, he might be anxious and desperate to go home. 3.- As he “wishes someone would invent a faster clock”, he might be anxious and desperate to go home.
11. 11. As you looked at the previous pictures, you were able to infer things about the scenarios that they presented. When you read a text, think of it as a WORD PICTURE.
12. 12. When reading, there are several types of word pictures the author will “paint” for you. • The setting. • A Character’s Personality or Emotions. • What a Character’s Motives Might Be. • What the Writer’s Motives behind writing the piece might be…
13. 13. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 1. What kind of appointment is Geoffrey getting ready for? a) He is going job hunting. b) He is going to a board meeting for his job. c) He is going to a job interview.
14. 14. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 1. What kind of appointment is Geoffrey getting ready for? a) He is going job hunting. b) He is going to a board meeting for his job. c) He is going to a job interview. The writer is suggesting that the appointment (job interview) will solve this problem. We can assume that he is not going job hunting because that does not require an appointment. The writer is suggesting that the appointment (job interview) will solve this problem. We can assume that he is not going job hunting because that does not require an appointment.
15. 15. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 2. Who is Martha? a) His mother. b) His wife. c) His daughter.
16. 16. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 2. Who is Martha? a) His mother. b) His wife. c) His daughter. The sentence in red suggests that Martha is the mother of his children and not his mother or his child. The sentence in red suggests that Martha is the mother of his children and not his mother or his child.
17. 17. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 3. Which of these personality traits best fits Geoffrey? a) Responsible b) Optimistic c) Selfish
18. 18. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 3. Which of these personality traits best fits Geoffrey? a) Responsible b) Optimistic c) Selfish These words describe a man who is responsible. There are no suggestions that he is optimistic or selfish in the text. These words describe a man who is responsible. There are no suggestions that he is optimistic or selfish in the text.
19. 19. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 4. What is Geoffrey’s motive for waking up early ? a) To be an example for his children. b) To be on time for his appointment. c) He does not want Martha to go back to work.
20. 20. Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. 4. What is Geoffrey’s motive for waking up early ? a) To be an example for his children. b) To be on time for his appointment. c) He does not want Martha to go back to work. Though Geoffrey does not want to be late for his interview, that is not his ultimate motive. His ultimate motive would be what is causing him to want to be on time in the first place. Though Geoffrey does not want to be late for his interview, that is not his ultimate motive. His ultimate motive would be what is causing him to want to be on time in the first place.

### Editor's Notes

• c.) He’s going to a job interview
The writer is suggesting that the appointment will solve this problem:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work.”
We can assume that he is not going job hunting because that does not require an appointment.
• c.) He’s going to a job interview
The writer is suggesting that the appointment will solve this problem:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work.”
We can assume that he is not going job hunting because that does not require an appointment.
• B. His wife
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. “
The same quote we used for the last question, suggests that Martha is the mother of his children and not his mother or his child.
• B. His wife
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work. “
The same quote we used for the last question, suggests that Martha is the mother of his children and not his mother or his child.
• Responsible
“Geoffrey awoke early that morning … He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance.”
These words describe a man who is responsible. There are no suggestions that he is optimistic or selfish in the text.
• Responsible
“Geoffrey awoke early that morning … He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance.”
These words describe a man who is responsible. There are no suggestions that he is optimistic or selfish in the text.
• c.) He does not want Martha to go back to work.
Though Geoffrey does not want to be late for his interview, that is not his ultimate motive. His ultimate motive would be what is causing him to want to be on time in the first place. This brings us back to this quote:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work.”
• c.) He does not want Martha to go back to work.
Though Geoffrey does not want to be late for his interview, that is not his ultimate motive. His ultimate motive would be what is causing him to want to be on time in the first place. This brings us back to this quote:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave the children and go back to work.”