Unsupported Browser

Ellii may not function properly in Internet Explorer. We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox instead.

Unsupported Browser

Ellii may not function properly in older browsers. We recommend updating yours to the latest version for the best experience.

Word of the Year 2022

January 5, 2022

Happy New Year!

Every year, instead of making a New Year's resolution, I choose a Word of the Year. This year, my word is "journal."

Instead of waking up and immediately scrolling through my phone, I plan to reach for my notebook to do three pages of writing (longhand) before anything else.

I learned this practice of keeping "morning pages" many years ago from writing coach Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way). Based on past experience, starting my day off with morning pages almost always results in having a happier, more productive day. 

"Pages clarify our yearnings. They keep an eye on our goals... They will point the way True North. Each morning, as we face the page, we meet ourselves. The pages give us a place to vent and a place to dream. They are intended for no eyes but our own."

—Julia Cameron

New Year, New Wall

Last year, I enthusiastically added all of our team members' names to my office wall after choosing the word zeal as my Word of the Year. My wall became the background for my video calls throughout 2021 and was often the subject of small talk before a meeting. 

This year, I challenged everyone from the publishing team to think of their own Word of the Year. At the beginning of this week, my office wall was a blank slate. Today, it's full of inspirational words to help us keep our hearts, minds, and bodies on important goals throughout the year. 

Tara's Word Wall 2022

Note: The Word of the Year challenge is also in our How to Write a Basic Paragraph lesson.


  • journal (noun): a personal notebook
  • journal (verb): to record thoughts in writing
  • longhand (noun): cursive handwriting
  • scroll (verb): to browse content (especially on a touch screen) without much thought or care
  • productive (adjective): getting a lot accomplished
  • zeal (noun): great energy or enthusiasm
  • background (noun): the scene behind a person or object
  • a blank slate (expression): a fresh start, a new beginning

Question of the Month 

What's your word of the year for 2022?

Please join us in choosing a Word of the Year for 2022! Tell us your word and explain the reason for your choice. Teachers, learners, and ESL Library staff are welcome to join! 


Not an Ellii member?

Get unlimited access to 1,000+ lessons and 3,000+ flashcards.

Sign Up

Comments (35)

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Great wall, Tara! My word on your wall is "move" and the reason is trifold. First, we've been renovating a house for quite a while now, and this is finally the year we'll make the big move! I'm very excited to move from a condo to a house since I want to get into gardening. "Move" also means keeping active, and this year I want to keep up my daily walks at my new place and get better at skiing, wakesurfing, and paddleboarding. I'd also love to go on even more hikes this year! The word "move" will also serve to remind me to get a move on with some new hobbies. Along with gardening, I also plan to learn more about photography and photoediting this year (I ran out of time last year and I don't want that to happen again). I love taking pictures of landscapes, so I think I can combine my photography and hiking goals into one!

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Thanks for getting the conversation started, Tanya! Behind every word on the wall there is a really interesting explanation and I hope everyone decides to share what it means to them just like you did. I look forward to sharing gardening tips with you and seeing more of your amazing nature photos (but please no more close encounters with bears).

Jen Artan(Author)

Your "word of the year" can serve as your "North Star" - that's what Mohamed Hammoud says on LinkedIn. So many people write New Year's Resolutions only to find that they've given up on them by mid-February (or sooner). Your word of the year can keep you focused.

My word is "connect" because I believe it is so important to stay in touch with your community, particularly when we can't be in-person. I want to connect to other educators as well as our Newcomers to Canada. Connecting means staying alert as to what our teachers and our learners need in order to make their own connections in their language learning journeys. The word wall is such a great idea - I think I will get my learners to do the same thing! Thanks for the idea.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Thanks for sharing the story behind your word, Jen! And welcome to the ESL Library team. We are so excited to have you. As a Canadian-based company, it is very important for us to stay connected to our Canadian teachers and learners and we know you'll be able to help us in this area. We're also located just a few cities away from each other, so I hope we can connect face-to-face soon!


My word is “mindfulness “ in 2022.Because we met many hard situations in 2021,for example COVID-19;forest fire;flood;snowstorm etc.How to face and conquer these difficult problems. I think physical and mental health are very important,especially mental health.Mindfulness is more activity to keep mental health.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Great word! I'm learning a bit about mindfulness from my yoga teacher. It really helps! Here's another post you may be interested in: https://ellii.com/blog/practicing-mindfulness-in-the-classroom

Yan X.(Student)

My word of the year for 2022 is "connect". First, I wish to be more connected to Canadian community. A few months after I arrived in Canada, the Covid-19 broke out. People have to keep social distance and I don't have many opportunities to make new friends or discover various aspects of society. I did sign up for several English classes. But most of the time, I can only chat with my teachers and classmates online. I’m eager to have more contact with local people in person and in real life. If possible, I will reach out more to do some volunteer work. I would also like to be more connected to the local French teaching field. I had taught French for about 20 years before I came to Canada. I’d like to have a better connection to French teachers in Canada and learn about the local needs for French teaching. Finally, I’ll try to bring myself closer to nature. During the pandemic, I spent most of my time at home, taking care of my kid, teaching online and watching the news on TV or the Internet. That is not a healthy lifestyle. I’ll try to make some changes, get out of the house to inspire some fresh air and do some exercises. It’s scientifically proven that a better connection to the nature help improve health and reduce stress. After all, we need a strong body and mind to go through this hard time safely.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Awesome word, Yan! In fact, this word is already on my wall. Our newest team member here at ESL Library picked this word too. I love your explanation as to why you chose this word. COVID has been so hard on people who are new to the country, especially English learners who need to practise the language. We have a staff member who moved here right before the pandemic and I think of this struggle for him often. I hope you'll continue to connect with our community here at ESL Library.

Tammy W.(Teacher)

Love this! You inspired me to create a word of the year this year, too :) My word is "less". I definitely believe the idea that "less is more", so I want to agree to do less so that I can enjoy my free time and focus on those (fewer) things that I choose to spend my time on.

I also recently moved, so we have a lot of stuff that needs to find a new home :)

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Thanks, Tammy! This is such an important word and goal! Perfect for a WOTY. I'll be adding this word to my office wall and I know it will help me too.

Alva S.(Student)

As I was considering my word for the year 2022, the word “practice” just came out. Aften enrolled into the ESL study, I found an efficient way to improve my English, not only in some familiar fields, but also many situations associated with daily life that I could deal with confidentially now. Practice as much as possible could help me more. On the other hand, we all had some quite long days since this pandemic started, for me, it's just too much to fall into the daydream without any following actions. As the “back to normal day” is coming, it is the time to do the deed. Practice makes perfect? practice needs to be performed first.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi, Alva! One of the members of our publishing team also picked this beautiful word, so it's on my wall! Keep listening to and reading English as often as you can. I hope to see you here in the For Students area on our blog each month too.

Ginni Panjrath(Guest)

My word is “ Goal “
I am setting some short term goal and long term goal. My short term goal is clear Linc 7 and long term goal is to do ECEA course. Why I choose these goal because I’m really like working and spending time with children because I have 2 children at my home and I really enjoy with them.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi, Ginni! I hope you can achieve your goal of becoming an early childhood education assistant. It's such an important job! Thanks for joining this challenge, and best of luck with your English goal this year.

Miki S.(Student)

My word of the year for 2022 is “courage”.
I don’t want to miss out on opportunities in my career, relationship, family, etc. because of the fear that sometimes keeps me from acting, making change, or moving forward. Courage is what I need to make changes in my life this year.
When I talk with English speakers, I am afraid of making mistakes, but I’m going to have conversation fearlessly.
I’m going to learn new skills this year to improve myself. I have had an excuse having children, so I don’t have time for myself. I will manage my time better to learn new skills.
I want to live without fear and doubt, and have courage to live my life.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi, Miki! Thanks for joining this challenge! You sound very courageous, and I have no doubt this word will help you achieve your goals. A quote I heard this weekend was, "Everything is hard won and you do have to fight for it!" ~ Maria Tatar

Stephanie shen(Guest)

My word of the year for 2022 is “improve”. I hope my life can improve. First I hope I can improve my English, then I could find a job. I have been in Canada for over seven years, but my English doesn't have much progress. second I hope the covid pandemic situation will improve with the vaccine. The covid had already bother our lives over two years, it is time for it to be gone. Finally, I wish our the medical system can improve the hospital environment and improve the treatment of medical staff.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for joining us in this challenge. I loved reading about the different ways you want to improve. I bet your English is improving. It's difficult to notice one's own progress. Please join us here regularly in the "For Students" are of our blog. It's a great way to practise the language, learn new vocabulary, and improve your writing skills.
Also, I absolutely agree with you regarding improvements to how we take care of our health-care workers!

Lina H.(Student)

My word for 2022 is focus. I spent too much time on social media last year. Instead of checking my phone and chatting with people on my social media all the time. I will focus on personal growth this year. Read more and exercise regularly and learn a new skill. Limit myself to only checking in during a specific time, not distracted all the time.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi, Lina. Thanks for joining us! Your word is closely connected to my word. A journal might help! So far, I've been able to stick to my morning goal. Let's support each other and check in from time to time!

Leave a Comment

Log In to Comment Reply

Comment Reply as a Guest
  • **bold**_italics_> quote

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Thinking of joining Ellii?

    Complete this form to create an account and stay up to date on all the happenings here at Ellii.