James Callahan, a 43-year-old sociology teacher at a high school in Massachusetts, has been keeping a running list of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) slang terms he believes is representative of the Gen Z generation that he overhears students using at school.
His list is so impressive and comprehensive that when he finally shared it with a class.
One of Callahan's students, Twitter user @Mewtailv2, posted a photo of a four-page document the sociology teacher created, titled the 'Callahan's Generation Z Dictionary.' Within days, the tweet went viral.
The photo shows the dictionary organized alphabetically with green and yellow color-coded columns, with the slang term on one side and his definition on the other.
In an interview with USA Today, the teacher explained the purpose behind his dictionary. “I often overhear students in the hallways or my classrooms using words (or) slang terms in their personal conversations, in order to understand them better, (and) make a connection with them on a personal level, I started asking them what certain words meant.”
The student says Callahan pulled up the document in class so that the class could help him update the definitions.
Beat your face/ cake your face（打你的脸/蛋糕你的脸）: Apply make up（化妆）
Gotta balst（要炸了）：I have to leave（我得走了）
Real One（真的一个）：Valid person- someone you trust （值得信赖的人）
"I love learning the words that their generation comes up with — both the unique ones as well as the ones where they take an existing word and give it a completely different meaning," Callahan told BuzzFeed News.
"For example, when I think of 'snack,' I think Cheez-Its," he went on. "It wasn't until a month ago that I learned that an attractive person is a 'snack.' I'm laughing again just thinking about my students explaining it to me."
@Mewtailv2 told BuzzFeed News they learned about the list one day in class when "someone said something stupid and [Mr. Callahan] asked 'What does that mean? It’s not in my dictionary.'" Students, of course, then prodded him about this personalized "dictionary."
@Mewtailv2 said she and the class were instantly amused and impressed when he pulled the document up. "It’s so long," she said, laughing. "Most of it is right because he asks us to confirm or deny its accuracy before it is officially added."
Callahan confirmed this, and said he's not shy about asking a student in his class or in the hallways to explain to him what a word or term means when he overhears something he doesn't understand. It's also part of his job as an educator.
综合来源：CGTN，Daily Mail，USA Today，Buzz Feed，Bored Pnada
Rod Ellis is currently a research professor in the School of Education at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is also a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University and an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of the University of Auckland. He has recently been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has written extensively on second language acquisition and task-based language teaching.
Donald Freeman is a professor of education at the University of Michigan, where his work focuses on researching and designing ELT teacher learning at scale. He is a past TESOL president, past chair of TIRF, and senior advisor on the ELTeach Project (National Geographic Learning), which provides online professional development to ELT public sector teachers worldwide.
Gong Yafu is a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Education Sciences, China (NIES), and President of the National Association of Foreign Language Education (NAFLE), Chinese Education Society (2001-2017). He is also Vice-President of the Children Education and Development Association, Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy. He was postdoctoral research program supervisor at the National Institute of Education Sciences, China.
Deborah J. Short
Deborah J. Short directs Academic Language Research & Training and provides professional development regarding academic literacy, content-based English, and sheltered instruction worldwide. She has directed research projects related to English learner education, co-developed the SIOP Model, and was lead writer for the book The 6 Principles. She is TESOL President-Elect (2019-2020).
Wang Chuming is a research professor at the National Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), China. He has served as the principal investigator for a major research project supported by the China National Foundation of Social Sciences, focusing on how to enhance efficiency in L2 learning.
Lawrence Jun Zhang
Lawrence Jun Zhang is Professor of Linguistics-in-Education and Associate Dean, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. As the sole “TESOL Award for Distinguished Research 2010” recipient, he has a particular interest in learner metacognition and has published over 100 articles, reviews and chapters on language learning and teaching.
Zou Shen is a professor in the School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University. Between 2002 and 2017, she served on the National Foreign Language Teaching Advisory Committee under the Ministry of Education in China, and was deputy head of the English language teaching sub-committee (2007-2017).