Published 27th February 2020

New Words in 2020 All TEFL Teachers Should Know

The English language is a slippery animal – always changing, bending the rules or breaking with tradition. With the start of 2020 we shouldn’t be surprised that a whole host of new words arrived to welcome in the new decade. As a TEFL teacher we need to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in vocabulary not just so that we can stay woke but so that we are aware of instances of language use that our students might be exposed to in popular culture or social media. Every year the big dictionaries publish lists of new words they have added to their trusty tomes. We can use these lists as a guide to which words we should be keeping an eye on. Here are some new words in 2020 all TEFL teachers should know.

New Words in 2020 All TEFL Teachers Should Know

Hellacious (adj)

As you can guess, hellacious can be used to describe an awful experience, be it weather, traffic or a period of time.

Freegan (n)

A freegan is clearly related to a vegan, but while a vegan will not eat or use animal products, a freegan eats only free food. Freegans believe there is too much food waste in the world so they find their food by utilizing urban gardens or digging in supermarket dumpsters.

Stan (n)

A stan is a blend of a stalker and a fan. In other words, a top fan who borders on the obsessive. 

Nomophobia (n)

Nomophobia is the fear of being without your phone which is probably something most of us these days can relate to.

Bingeable (adj)

Netflix has given us so much, and bingeable is just one of those things. For many of us, our favourite pastime is relaxing at home and binge-watching Stranger Things, which we can totally describe as bingeable. 

Shook (adj)

Let’s be honest, this whole Brexit situation has left many people shook – an intense feeling of shock or amazement.

Awesomesauce (adj)

Getting a great deal on one of The TEFL Academy’s online courses is awesomesauce!

Snowflake (n)

We all have that one friend who is a snowflake – someone who thinks they are very special, and are very sensitive. 

Noob (n)

Related to newbie, a noob is a person who is inexperienced in a particular thing. If you are a TEFL noob,  you should subscribe to The TEFL Academy blog to keep up-to-date with all things TEFL.

Of course, English already has such a vast vocabulary that we’re not saying you need to bombard your students with all these new words, but it’s good to keep up with the times for your own general knowledge. With social media these days it’s likely your students will come across language like this at some point or other, so at least now you’ll know how to respond if your students call you a snowflake or refer to your lesson as hellacious! 

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