As busy teachers, we are always looking for ways for our learners to improve their English skills and to save ourselves valuable time. The post this month is about three cool and useful sites to help learners improve and build their vocabulary. These can be used by you the teacher as part of a class or by learners autonomously. I hope you find them useful and they save you some time!
I like the look of vocabulary.com. It seems a great site for learners wishing to improve their vocabulary. It is an online application which is designed to make learning and teaching vocabulary more straightforward and more engaging. I have never used this as part of a course but have recommended it to learners looking to build their vocabulary and been given positive feedback.
It seems a respectable and well developed site. It was even given a place on Time magazine’s 2012 list of best websites. They claim that the more a learner plays, the more the site can adapt its questions to them. They also pitch the site as an alternative to flashcards and memorizing definitions. I would say it is. Many of my learners are busy and I like the way the site can be used on smartphones. It’s great for my students to learn as they commute to school.
The site has four major sections that help to build the learner’s vocabulary in different ways. These are the Challenge, the Vocabulary Lists, the Dictionary, and the Choose Your Words section. The site is free but the only issue is that learners need to sign up for the full version.
Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary. It can be used to look up words to find their meanings. The thing I like about this site is that learners can also find associations with other words and concepts. The site is great for visual learners as it produces interactive diagrams which show how words associate. All the learner has to do is type words into the search box to look them up. They then get what looks like a tree diagram of associated words. This is interactive and learners can pan around, zoom, or hover over a word for a definition. They can also move the tree around to see all the different words that are there. It acts like a dictionary and a thesaurus and the great part is there is no sign up. It is is available as a free resource for any learner with an Internet connection. This is a new site to me so I am yet to get any feedback from my learners but I will certainly be recommending it to my classes.
The final site I am recommending today is called Infographs by myenglishteacher.eu. There are so many infographs available these days but what I like is that this collates groups of words which makes them so easy to access. For example, you can find a visual list of 100 English idioms for time which comes with examples. Hopefully, they will add more infographs as there are not a great deal on there now. However, there is also a link at the bottom of the page that has more useful vocabulary.
What do you think about these sites? Do you know any more that you or your learners use? As always, I would love to hear your comments in the box below.