Published 15th January 2019


As teachers of English as a Foreign Language, we need to be on top of our game when it comes to the English language. This means having a solid grasp of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, among other things. It also means keeping up with the language as it changes. One of the fastest ways language changes is in its vocabulary so for English teachers this means making sure you are aware of the hundreds of new words added to the English dictionary every year.

Hundreds of words are officially added to the English language every year. It is not possible and not necessary to keep abreast of all these additions but there are a number that are used so much in popular language that they are relevant to our students. Here are thirteen new words all EFL teachers should know.

Binge-watch (v)
To watch a number of episodes of a television series in quick succession.

Binge-able (adj)
Describing a television series which has multiple episodes which can be watched in quick succession.

Haptics (n)
Electronically or mechanically generated movement that is experienced through the sense of touch on an interface such as a screen or console.

Adorbs (adj)
Short form of adorable, meaning very cute.

Hophead (n)
A person who enjoys drinking beer.

Zoodle (n)
A piece of spaghetti made out of zucchini.

Hangry (adj)
A feeling of being angry as a result of being hungry.

Fintech (n)
Products or companies which use digital and online technology in banking and financial services.

Mocktail (n)
A cocktail made without any alcohol.

Photobomb (v)
To ruin someone’s photograph by appearing in the background.

Vape (v)
To smoke an electronic cigarette.

Glamping (n)
To camp in a glamorous way rather than the traditional way.

Crowdfund (v)
To source money for a project from a group of people.

Some of these words you may have known already, some of them may be completely new to you. Either way, it’s important that you are familiar with these words and their meanings so that you are able to pass this knowledge on to your students.

Of course this doesn’t mean teaching mansplaining to your Elementary students, but you may find some of the words are relevant for higher level students or when dealing with certain topics. There is no need to dedicate an entire lesson to teaching these new words but if the opportunity arises, there is no reason you shouldn’t teach your students up-to-date language to keep up with the times.