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!
“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
“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
“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
“I love teaching the word ‘happy’ because the students always smile and it brightens my day!” – Teacher Christine
“‘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
“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
“I love to ask if they have 1 or 2 and then teach ‘unibrow’ and show them a picture, they always laugh!!” – Teacher Laura
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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!