A glossary of coronaspeak

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Learning portmanteaus

new words coined


This lesson plan is built around new words coined during the coronavirus pandemic. Students will guess their meanings and have a chance to use them in speaking.

B2 / Upper Intermediate45 minStandard LessonPremium Plan


If you want to have a bit of fun and you and your students are not fed up with talking about the pandemic, you might find this worksheet amusing and engaging. It starts with a short discussion about how our lives have changed because of the pandemic. Next, students move to a table with a few sentences that describe different aspects of our lives BCV (before coronavirus) and ACV (after coronavirus). Make students guess what these acronyms mean and after that, ask them to complete the gaps in the sentences describing the world ACV. Thanks to this task, they will learn new terms such as revenge travel, schoolcation or infit. To practise these in speaking, there are a few questions for students to answer.


In the next exercises, students will learn new words coined during the pandemic. All of them are portmanteaus, i.e. blends of words in which parts of different words are combined into new words. First, students study one example and then, work in pairs and figure out which words other portmanteaus are derived from. Then, they should read the words again and guess what they mean (zumping, covidiot, spendemic, etc.). In the next task, the situation is reversed. Students get some words and they need to guess how they combine. We also provided the meanings of the words students have to come up with. Finally, there is a short discussion with the new words students learnt in the lesson as well as homework. They have to do some online research to find five more words or phrases that have been coined or gained popularity during the pandemic, and write sentences with them.



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Leave a Reply

  1. DaveMar

    This lesson HAS already been amusing and engaging for my students! A tough one to make so, but you nailed it, Justa! The first ESL Lesson Plan to capture the zeitgeist (and in a fun way) haha! Instant classic.

    1. Justa

      Thank you, Dave, for such a positive response! Yeah, I feel that now we need some fun to brighten our and students’ days a bit 🙂

  2. Alice Watts

    Ha, this looks good fun and I’ve learned a few words myself. I’ll definitely be using this! Thanks guys

    1. Justa

      Thanks! Hope your students are going to enjoy it!

  3. Misio131

    Really funny & helpful.


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