The language of coronavirus: Is there a silver lining?

2 November 20202 mins read

Let’s face it: The coronavirus has changed our lives and the world we live in beyond our wildest imagination. But has it affected more aspects of our lives than we think? Our very own Ken Bateup and Clare Henderson have been looking into a more positive impact of the pandemic – the effect on our language.

With around 800-1,000 new words and phrases (or neologisms) added to English language dictionaries every year, 2020 has been no exception. On a daily basis, we’re hearing new and repurposed words that we accept as part of our ‘new normal’.

But has our “lexical inventiveness” done more than just expand our vocabulary? Could it have actually helped us to share a sense of solidarity and push through the hard times with a bit of humour?

The language of coronavirus’ article explores the idea that these new words (or coronacoinages) have helped to alleviate some of our stress and anxiety, and process the events around us during these times of drastic social change. Packed with useful activities and clear definitions, it delves into the range of language that has emerged in English and prepares teachers for integrating this into their physical or virtual classrooms.

See how many of the words you know or have heard before and share your thoughts with us on Facebook or LinkedIn – we guarantee you won’t get to the end without smiling!

Read the full article on Modern English Teacher – October 2020 Edition, here:
Note: MET subscription is required to read this exclusive article.

Ken Bateup is a teacher mentor and teacher of academic English on our Master’s Preparation Programme helping prepare students for postgraduate degrees at university.

Clare Henderson has been working for Bell since 1994, as a teacher and teacher trainer at Bell Teacher Academy, bringing her extensive experience and expertise in teaching EFL into our classrooms.

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