You don’t need to look up the meanings of all new words in a dictionary. You can often guess the meanings of many words from the context.
Sometimes a sentence gives a meaning of a new vocabulary item. The meaning sometimes comes before or after the verb be.
example : The context is the words around a new vocabulary item.
(What does context mean? It means the words around a new vocabulary item.)
sometimes the meaning of a new item is in another sentence or another part of a sentence.
example : most international students major in practical subjects. These subjects provide useful skills that help student find good jobs.
(what are practical subjects? They are subjects that provide useful skills.)