VIPKid Teachers’ Favorite Words to Teach

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The English language has diverse cultural origins, including common words like shampoo (Hindi), waltz (German) and apricot (Arabic). In fact, did you know the word ketchup comes from a Chinese word for “fish sauce?!

Our language is full of fascinating, beautiful, and sometimes difficult words. We asked our teacher community about their favorite words to share with students, and their amazing answers showed how much they love their students and their job. Take a look through this list of VIPKid teachers’ favorite words to teach, and let us know what you think in the comments!

1. Parallelogram

“This is such a mess of a word to teach sometimes, and I love to really have fun with it and break down every syllable. One of my students, Mary, couldn’t stop laughing when I asked her 5 times in a row, ‘what is this shape,’ while pointing to the parallelogram.”  – Teacher Bethany

“I love teaching ‘parallelogram.’ When the students—some of them very young!—can slowly say each syllable and then speed it up and say such a difficult word correctly, I just get so darn excited! I tell them that many people who are native speakers have difficulty with this word—because y’all know it’s true! ;)” – Teacher Rachel

2. Dandelion

“My favorite word in English is ‘dandelion.’ It’s borrowed from French, and literally means ‘teeth of the lion / lion teeth.’ I think that’s a pretty great description for a flower with a bunch of long and thin yellow petals!” – Teacher Sarah

3. The

“My favorite word to teach is ‘the’ because many Chinese speakers tend to pronounce this word incorrectly. Being able to pronounce this high-frequency word correctly will help them sound more fluent overall!” – Teacher Taylor

4. Happy

“I love teaching the word ‘happy’ because the students always smile and it brightens my day!” – Teacher Christine

5. Hello

“‘Hello’ opens up a new world for English students.” – Teacher Wendy

“I just started and am mostly teaching early Level 2. I think so far my favorite word to teach is ‘Hello.’ It’s so basic, but I think it’s my favorite because it’s the first word we really are introducing the students to. Also Lesson 1 is just about saying ‘Hello.’ It’s the easiest TPR! I make it fun even if we keep repeating it!” – Teacher Cynthia

6. Run

“My favorite word to teach is ‘run’ because I love pretending I am running when I teach it, and the students just bust out laughing. It makes me laugh too when they try to mimic me.” – Teacher Melissa

7. Eyebrow

“I love to ask if they have 1 or 2 and then teach ‘unibrow’ and show them a picture, they always laugh!!” – Teacher Laura

8. Peculiar

“I think ‘peculiar’ really sums up the English language. ‘English isn’t one language. It is three languages stacked on top of each other under a trench coat.’ ‘English doesn’t ‘borrow’ words from other languages, so much as it follows them down dark allies, knocks them on the head, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.'” – Teacher Melody

9. Artist

“During our warm-up a student told me she wanted to make pictures to make people happy. Then called herself a painter, when that career came up. When she read ‘artist’ she lit up and said ‘I will be an artist!'” – Teacher Lori

10. Cat

“So far my favorite word has been ‘cat’ for my Level 1 student. For a bit of backstory, I am his only teacher. We were learning to identify a cat and he always finishes early, so I asked if he wanted to see mine. When she crawled all over my head and shoulders, he laughed like I had never heard before. He is always such a joy to see on my schedule every Tuesday and Thursday.” – Teacher Amber

11. Love

“Love! Everyone can recognize one of the hand gestures for a heart. The concept of love is known by everyone. It is the most important word in any language.” – Teacher Lisa

12. Toes

“My favorite word to teach is ‘toes’ because the students laugh when I bring my toes into view! I always wear funny socks when I teach this lesson and then I take them off and put my toes close to the camera! They crack up every time!” – Teacher Jenna

13. Describe

“I love to teach the word ‘describe’. I tell the students that they can tell me anything about a stuffed animal from our classroom (I always use a grinch), and the students describe physical and non-physical characteristics. When we are done brainstorming, I tell them that I have a surprise word for what they just did, and I introduce the word describe. After that, my students always remember the meaning and how to use the word in context.” – Teacher Rosa

14. Away

“With VIPKid my favorite word to teach is ‘away.’ It’s a struggle for many to teach, but I love being able to play hide-and-seek with a puppet or another prop… and the kids think it’s funny when I use silly voices to say ‘Go, away!'”- Teacher April

15. Family

“I love to show my family picture and talk about the student’s family. It helps to make connections with the student.” – Teacher Holly

16. Their students’ favorites!

“I love to teach the kids names for their favorite things. I taught ‘pediatrician’ this week to a student who said he wants to be a doctor for kids. He took a lot of pride in that word!” – Teacher Kathleen

 

Ready to join our community of fun, dedicated teachers? Sign up to teach with VIPKid, and in no time you’ll have a special story about your favorite word to share with students! 

31 COMMENTS

  1. Wash in level 1. Many of my students do the cutest motions to match it! One student pretended to take a bath and had both his mother and me laughing.

  2. “Stinky” cracks up me and my students with the faces we make while holding our noses and waving our hand in front of our face. 🙂

  3. I use a robot face accessory on ManyCam when teaching the word “trapezoid.” For some reason, that word is just robotic-sounding to me 😉

  4. I really love parallelogram. I always start out with saying lello lello lello and get the kids to laugh. Then I break it down to para-lello- gram. We just have fun with the word. They always smile.

  5. I Love to teach the word Sleep. I like to pretend I am sleeping and snore a little bit. Then I act scared as the student wakes me up.

  6. For my main level kids, I like teaching the word “hatch” and demonstrate the process with my Hatchimal Eggs! For the older ones, “suitcase” is always fun to demonstrate (think Mary Poppins miracle bag)! For the littlest ones, “ball” is a hoot because somehow they never expect me to have a life-size basketball under my desk! (You should see what else is down there!) If all else fails, teaching little ones to say their name is awesome! ????

  7. I haven’t taught a class yet, but in my interview I introduced cat-er-pill-ar with a stuffed animal and the mentor loved it!

  8. Soccer! I have a soccer ball and I have a lot of students who call it football. I totally understand, America is the ONLY place that doesn’t call it football. So I like to say, in America we call it football. I had one student who was bot a fan of this and told me, “No! It is football!”????

  9. I like teaching any of the sight words. Sometimes I will use a stop watch to see how fast the kids can read them all. They like to try a few times to try and beat there fastest time and it is a great way to extend a slide.

  10. It is hard to pick just one. I love all the vocabulary. It is that moment when it all clicks and you can see the excitement in their faces. It is so beautiful!

  11. “I’m funny,” “you’re funny,” “he’s funny” (in the sense of being silly). I tried to type in the word “silly” one time and it was flagged as a possible offensive word. However, the word “funny” carries the message and always makes them smile.

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