Teaching or learning vocabulary using technology and websites has never been so magical until this Covid19 forced all the schools around the globe to transition to online teaching. It was just a matter of a few weeks and I could see my Twitter notifications flood my Inbox with innumerable inspiring ideas for online teaching/ online learning.
This past week I have been doing research on vocabulary teaching/ learning websites (You can see my first and second post in Vocabulary Teaching series) and given the current circumstances when every teacher around the world is teaching online, I decided to share my top 6 digital tools/ websites that you can use to teach/ learn vocabulary online. Now, don’t get me wrong here as this blog post is not only for English teachers, but the technology tools I am sharing are equally helpful for all the subject teachers to teach content vocabulary online.
Vocabulary Learning Websites
Here are these digital vocabulary tools that can be a gamechanger for you when you teach vocabulary online.
Rewordify is a free vocabulary website for teachers and students and it provides support by simplifying complex or difficult words in a text. It is a smart vocabulary website that replaces difficult words in the text with easier to understand words. This powerful feature helps reluctant readers understand the text, learn words in context. It also features word pronunciation, quiz maker, vocabulary list maker and individual vocabulary Learning Sessions. Students can also use this website without any support. All they need to do is copy difficult text and paste in Rewordify.com and a simple and easy to understand version of the text will appear in seconds. This not only helps students with comprehension, but also sustains their interest and develops their vocabulary. You can also change the color, difficulty level and display mode in settings and cater to different learning styles and varied interests of your students. Their Classic Literature feature allows you to select any classic text and it shows you a simpler version of the same. This is mind-blowing.
If you still have questions, don’t wait and click through Rewordify.com and see for yourself.
This amazing vocabulary teaching website is not your ordinary website that displays words and their meanings. It is a magic wand! It helps you teach anything – I repeat anything using one simple image or a video clip. You can embed videos, text, wikis, website links, word meanings – anything to help you teach vocabulary.
You can easily tag videos or images that you want to teach and without opening multiple tabs, bookmarking multiple websites, it helps you teach your content in minutes. This website offers a great visual learning experience which caters to your audio/visual learners’ vocabulary building needs.
Once you upload the image or a video, you can tag it and link your tags to texts, websites, audios, videos, or even more pictures.
I personally used it with my eighth graders when we were reading A Wrinkle in Time this summer. I prepared a couple of ThingLinks using my Google account and uploaded pictures of the novel. Once I uploaded the picture, I tagged the picture of the text under difficult words and added words’ meanings and example sentences. This helped my struggling readers a great deal and I hope this will help your students too.
Mnemonic Dictionary is another amazing digital vocabulary learning tool that your (Middle school and high school) students can independently use. The website works just like any other dictionary, but as the name suggests its highlighting feature is its mnemonics and visual aids. It offers a Word of the Day with meaning, example sentences and mnemonics. These mnemonics are shown in a carousel and are shown in order of popularity. Students can use these and choose the ones that best suit their learning style. Other features of this website are: word lists, top searched words list and scrabble.
Synonym.com is especially helpful when your students are working on word choice. As the name shows, synonym.com shows the list of the synonyms of the word you enter in the search bar. Other features include trending searches, Word of the Day, two vocabulary games and offers a link to antonym.com. In case your students do not have access to a dictionary or a thesaurus, synonym.com does a fairly good job.
Reverse dictionary is one of my favourites as I teach ESL students who sometimes are at a loss of words when writing descriptions or essays and have no idea how to search for the exact word. This vocabulary building digital tool helps you enter the description of the concept in a word, words, phrases or a sentence and as you press enter, you get a list of words that correspond to your search. Before you use this website with your students, it is good to read the FAQs given on their homepage where the process of research has been explained. Although you might not get all the search results that are pertinent to your research, you will still be able to get the words that you are looking for.
Infovisual is a useful visual dictionary that offers words definitions for various topics. This website is specifically helpful for Science teachers as it offers great visuals and descriptions about different topics. Topics that this website covers are: human body, biology animal, biology vegetal, clothing, transport and music. Great thing about this is that it supports multiple languages.
So I hope this list was helpful. I would love to hear from you and how you used these digital vocabulary building tools in your online classes.