The English language is a fascinating mix of regional dialects and unique slang, shaped by centuries of history and cultural influences. Throughout its long history, the UK has had many invasions and visitors. From the Romans in ancient Londinium to the rolling hills of the Saxon heartland, and from the Viking raiders of the north to the Norman conquerors of the south, each wave of historical influence has shaped the dialects of the UK. Each region of the United Kingdom has its own distinct flavor of language and accent. Today, we embark on a slang tour to explore some of the expressions from different regions.
10 English words and slang terms you should know
Not everything can be taught in the classroom – that’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 English words, slang terms and figures of speech for you to sprinkle into your English conversations. Not sure how to use them? Don’t worry, we’ve included definitions and examples of how to use them in a sentence.
A song or tune that, once you’ve heard it, is stuck in your head.
Use it: “That new Taylor Swift song is such an earworm!”
Spending your holiday in your hometown rather than traveling abroad. Often spent relaxing around the house or doing activities in the local area.
Use it: “I’m having a staycation this summer, as I’m trying to save money.”
An episode or series created exclusively for online viewing. This can be part of a web series or used to promote a television series.
Use it: “There’s a new Breaking Bad webisode online, have you seen it?”
Funding a project or business venture by asking a large number of people (typically online) to invest a small amount of money – usually via websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Use it: “We raised enough money to launch our business using crowdfunding.”
Glamorous camping! Avoiding any rough conditions with luxurious facilities and accommodation, such as a yurt or cabin.
Use it: “We’re going to be glamping at Glastonbury this year.”
Something or someone that closely resembles something else, often used to describe someone who looks very similar to a celebrity.
Use it: “Have you seen the Prince William and Kate Middleton lookalikes over there?”
This word has a more political significance, in terms of gaining land or ownership. However, its modern usage is commonly in the workplace: The act of passing over control or responsibility to another person while you are off work on holiday or leaving a job.
Use it: “I’ll send my notes in a handover email so you can continue the project while I’m away.”
When something is a little uninspiring or dull. Also a word you could use to describe your lack of interest or indifference. It’s basically a verbal shrug.
Use it: “The film was a bit meh.”
Watching multiple episodes of a TV show, one after another, in a single sitting. Usually, with a DVD box set or using online streaming.
Use it: “I’m planning to binge-watch the entire series of Game of Thrones this weekend!”
Spill the tea
When someone 'spills the tea' they are telling you all the latest news or gossip.
Use it: “Please spill the tea about last week's party!"
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Language is not only a tool for communication but also a means to explore and comprehend diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives. Europe, with its vast array of languages, is a prime example of this linguistic diversity. Each year on September 26th, Europe observes the European Day of Languages, which is a day solely dedicated to celebrating and embracing this linguistic richness.
Europe is a magnificent tapestry of languages, with over 200 spoken throughout the continent. This diversity is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of each nation and reminds us of the intricate historical, social, and linguistic elements that mold our identities. The European Day of Languages inspires people to cherish and honor this linguistic heritage.
Why September 26th?
September 26th marks an important date for celebrating linguistic diversity and promoting multilingualism. This day commemorates the adoption of the "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages" by the Council of Europe in 1992, a crucial document that recognizes and safeguards the linguistic rights of minority languages spoken within European countries. By celebrating the European Day of Languages on this date, it renews our commitment to supporting the rich diversity of languages and cultures that make our world a more vibrant and fascinating place.
What type of events happen?
The European Day of Languages offers language learners a chance to participate in language exchanges, which is an exciting opportunity. During such exchanges, learners from diverse backgrounds partner up and teach each other their native languages. This not only helps improve language skills but also promotes intercultural understanding.
Various European cities offer language workshops led by enthusiasts and experts, providing an introduction to different languages.
Storytelling is an incredibly effective tool for learning languages. Libraries, schools, and cultural centers hold multilingual storytelling sessions, where stories from different cultures are shared in their original languages. This helps both children and adults to better understand and appreciate the beauty of linguistic diversity.
Cinema provides a wonderful opportunity to explore different languages and cultures. Throughout Europe, foreign films are often shown with subtitles, enabling viewers to fully immerse themselves in new linguistic worlds.
Museums often showcase exhibitions highlighting the linguistic and cultural heritage of various regions, providing insight into the history and traditions of different languages.
Cafés and restaurants might offer special menus featuring diverse cuisines and multilingual staff – a delightfully tasty way to explore languages and cultures.
Games and Competitions
Language-based games and competitions, such as crossword puzzles and spelling bees, are organized in schools and communities to provide a fun and educational way to celebrate language.
If you are a teacher hoping to celebrate this occasion make sure to check here for ideas on what to do.
Check out what events are happening near you here.
Just like the European day of Languages, we at Pearson Languages are fully committed to empowering and celebrating language learners and educators alike. That's why we are now supporting French, Italian, and Spanish language learning with the Global Scale of Languages (GSL). With these new language learning frameworks at your fingertips, you can confidently design curriculums and personalize learning pathways to help fast-track your learners’ progress and help your learners be themselves in French, Italian and Spanish.
Whether you're a teacher, a language learner, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of languages, the European Day of Languages and the GSL provide exciting opportunities to explore, learn, and enjoy the rich tapestry of Europe's linguistic heritage.
Can we play a game? How many times have you been asked this in class? And how often do you say Yes? Young learners love to play games, and if you choose the right ones, they can have a hugely beneficial impact on their learning.
As well as being fun, games can provide learners with necessary language practice, as well as lowering the affective filter (i.e. anxiety, fear, boredom and other negative emotions that can all impact learning). Games also foster a positive, relaxed environment.
So are you ready to play? Here are a few tried and tested games that work especially well in the primary classroom. Each game is designed to consolidate and review the language students have been learning, and take from 5 to 15 minutes. The games are flexible enough for you to adapt them to different levels, age groups and skills.