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In this podcast, we spoke about things called circumlocution strategies.
What are circumlocution strategies?
When learning a language, circumlocution strategies are the strategies that you use to describe a word or phrase when you don't know it in English. If you have good circumlocution strategies they will stop you hesitating too much or getting blocked when you are speaking. There are lots of strategies that you can use and we will look at some common circumlocution strategies in this article.
Learning to Circumlocute
There are lots of ways you can practise your circumlocution strategies. Here are some of the most common ways you can practise:
Use relative clauses - If you don't know a word, you should be able to explain it with a definition. When you define a word it's a good idea to use relative clauses. They usually begin with relative pronouns such as; which, that, who and where etc.
We use different relative pronouns or adverbs for different reasons. When we are talking about people we can use 'that' or 'who'. Have a look the table below for some more relative pronouns and how to use them. Look at the examples. Do you know the words that are being described? Write your answers in the comments section.
When do we use it?
To talk about things and people.
The ******* is the player that talks to the referee.
To talk about things.
A ***** is a type of football action which is done without touching the ball.
To talk about people.
The ******* is the man who makes all the decisions.
To talk about places.
The ****** ****** is where the match kicks off.
To talk about time.
***** **** is when a lot of goals are scored.
Use synonyms - If you forget a word try to think of an easier word with a similar meaning. It's often unnecessary to think of a complex piece of vocabulary to get your point across. Look at the table below. Do you know what a simple synonym could be? Write your answers in the comments section.
It's a type of - If you don't know a word you might be able to describe the word by using phrases such as it's a type of ... or it's a kind of ... For example, if you try to describe a pomegranate you might start by saying:
It's a kind of fruit, it's red and it has lots and lots of little seeds in it.
Can you think of a difficult word and describe it in the comments section? Start your definition by writing: It's a kind of ... or It's a type of ...
What do you think?
Do you ever get blocked when you forget a word? What circumlocution strategies do you use?
In the article above, we gave you three tips and three tasks for you to do. Write your answers below.
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