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> Contextual reading is always useful for learning new vocabulary and knowing when to look up a new word or skip and back-fill meaning as you get more context.

If you don’t have phonics down well, you cannot actually learn new words from context. If you cannot “sound out” the unknown word in your head, then no amount of context is going to allow you to actually learn the new word.

Context is a great tool for understanding what a new word means. It is useless for telling you what a new word actually says.

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