Learning through osmosis
Learning through osmosis (also called learning by osmosis, learning via osmosis, and osmotic learning) is the idea that one can learn things through a mysterious/not-well-understood method where one immerses oneself in some environment.
Is this how people learn their native language?
Here's a phenomenon I was surprised to find: you'll go to talks, and hear various words, whose definitions you're not so sure about. At some point you'll be able to make a sentence using those words; you won't know what the words mean, but you'll know the sentence is correct. You'll also be able to ask a question using those words. You still won't know what the words mean, but you'll know the question is interesting, and you'll want to know the answer. Then later on, you'll learn what the words mean more precisely, and your sense of how they fit together will make that learning much easier.
- Ravi Vakil. "For potential Ph.D. students".