I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp“. …For you and me, love of words feels like the most natural thing in the world. Yet, it is not an inherent talent. Just like any other type of love it needs some Cupid’s chemicals. This adds another job to the already busy schedule of the teacher – being a Cupid firing an arrow to get learners to extend their word knowledge and embrace words as a passion. Here’s one of many other ways to ‘shoot an arrow into the air’ and play around with words.

Play around with Words: -ISH

Step 1. Write the word “dance-ish” on the board and ask your students to guess what it means.

Step 2. Show the following video to the students.

Is that a dance?

Step 3. Discuss the use of the –ish suffix.

Suggesting proximity

Practice time: Ask students to say the following:

  • kind of red – (answer: reddish)
  • not really blonde but a subtle mixture – (answer: blondish)
  • something small, but not overly so – (answer: smallish)

Talking about time

Practice time: What do they mean?

– Let’s meet at about eleven-ish.

– How about noon-ish?

– Okay, noon-ish works fine for me.

This is surely a great suffix to add to your students’ vocabulary.

Did you find this useful? Check out Foreign words: TICKETY-BOO

Happy teaching!

Image: by Dan Allison, https://www.flickr.com/photos/integraldan/238643829

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