The world of words

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Living abroad is an exciting journey filled with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and most important of all, languages. My journey started out with an exhilarating mixture of enthusiasm and fear as I was ready to embrace a new culture but was soon met with the intimidating reality of having a restricted vocabulary. Speaking in daily interactions was like negotiating a language minefield, and I felt like I could never truly articulate my thoughts as well I could back home. In the midst of this annoyance, word games proved to be an unexpected ally in my English exploration journey.

The ubiquitous Wordle served as my entry point into this realm. Learning new words and becoming comfortable with them was made enjoyable by the daily task of filling the grid with the correct letter, each guess reducing the pool of possible letters. Before long, I was eagerly looking forward to the next problem not only to see how well I could solve it, but also in the hopes to add more words to my vocabulary. I had a rush of satisfaction after solving a word, a small but important win in the greater struggle of familiarizing the English language.

I then stepped into more complex games such as Scrabble and crosswords while still being consistent with the Wordle. These new games required more than simply knowledge to win; with their complex grids and strategic components, they also required deductive reasoning, planning, and a contextual understanding of the use of certain words. My vocabulary was tested to the limit. Not only was it important to place a phrase that precisely suited the area, plan my next move, and decipher cryptic clues; it was also important to include new terms into my developing vocabulary.

But my exploration didn’t stop there. I began exploring games like Dordle( which involves two Wordle puzzles simultaneously, requiring the player to guess two five-letter words at the same time using a shared amount of guesses), Quordle (similar to Dordle but with 4 words), Word500(which tells you the number of correct letters the player has but not which letters they are ), and Fibble(which lies to you once every guess!) which build upon the concept of Wordle by making it harder to guess the word(s) added new twists and challenges, keeping the engagement high due to gradually increasing complexity and my learning journey dynamic since I became familiar with some previously unknown conventions of English as well.

Looking back, I see that word games were an encouragement for learning and development rather than just a means to pass time. Every game I played seemed like a customised language instruction where I was introduced to new terms in an interesting and captivating setting. The annoyance of not knowing a term served as a catalyst for discovery, and the fulfilment that comes from picking one up served as a strong inducement to keep going in this direction. My vocabulary in English is far from flawless now, but it’s a lot richer and more varied than it was when I first came. More significantly, the process of learning the language has been an exciting unanticipated journey full of the joy of discovery and the fulfilment of conquering obstacles. And it all started with the aggravation of not knowing enough words, which led to an exciting and fulfilling adventure into the realm of word games.

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