The missing word – A language intuition practice

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Photo credit: Viewmaker)

I have always found incredibly amazing how my students get stuck reading a text when they find a word they don’t understand. They might be looking at 1,000 words they fully understand, and when it comes to a single unknown term, they only focus on that. Any solution?

When we don’t know a word, there are just two things we can do, we look for it in a dictionary, or we invent its meaning. When none of the previous solutions work, just ignore it.

I am going to give you a very simple way of using your language instinct in order to guess the meaning of words. For that I am going to use a word that doesn’t exist, so I will just invent it.

My word is BLARUSHO. Any similarity in meaning or appearance to any existing word in any language is a mere coincidence.

BLARUSHO doesn’t have a meaning, it is like saying X in mathematics, it could be anything. I am going to use it in different sentences, just try to guess whether you can instinctively guess the word in each situation or not.
I have BLARUSHO a new dress
I’m driving my car very BLARUSHO to save some petrol and not spend too much money
BLARUSHO is a very nice leisure activity which benefits both body and mind. Working-out in the water is enjoyable and does not have a negative effect on your joints

Move forward even when blind

When we are learning a foreign language, we mustn’t feel scared at all. We must give it a try after another until it starts to make some sense.

When we don’t know some words, everything seems confusing. However, if we keep on we would find our way one way or another, sooner or later.

I’m sure you could guess the meaning of BLARUSHO in each of the sentences above, not a big deal. When we’re learning a language, we must do that, try to guess, no matter if we get it wrong firstly, just guess as a baby would do.

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