When it comes to learning vocabulary, physical flashcards definitely have their place. Sometimes, though, you just need a little more practice to solidify your learning. So, you have someone quiz you. While this method is great for getting ready for a test, the vocabulary may not stay with you much longer than it did when you were back in school. You need long-term practice to achieve long-term retainment. A little fun while doing it never hurt either. Check out these 3 free websites for practicing vocabulary.
Quizlet has the largest spread of options for reviewing vocabulary. For those who are really in love with flashcards, you can use the digital flashcard feature. The flashcards will flip back and forth for you. Each term can also be pronounced out loud. With a plus membership you can adjust the speed between normal and slow. This feature is perfect for flashcard lovers everywhere.
The next feature is "Learn." You will start by choosing your level of familiarity with the material. Then you can go into the options and select the types of questions you would like (flashcards, multiple choice, and written). For questions you do not know the answer for, you can select "don't know." It will show the answer for that one and then come back to it later.
In the "Write" section, you will write out the term that matches the definition given. You will need to know how to spell the words, since the computer will only recognize exact answers. There will be a graph that shows you how many terms you have remaining, how many you get correct, and how many you get incorrect. Once you finish, you can go onto "Spell."
"Spell" will speak the words for you, and you will write what you hear. This feature is great for practicing your listening skills, if you are practicing second language vocabulary. The speech speed adjustment feature is included with a normal account for "Spell". If you only want to practice certain terms, you will need to purchase a plus account.
Next comes the "Test." You will find many different options for creating your test. You can choose the quantity of questions (up to 20), the type of question (written, matching, multiple choice, or true/false), and whether you want to answer with the term or definition.
If you would rather play while practicing, choose the "Match" or "Gravity" features. "Match" is just what it sounds like: a matching game. You will click the matches as fast as you can to earn a spot on the leaderboard. If you really want to go fast, try out Match on the Quizlet app. It will be sure to give your ego a boost.
Gravity also has a leaderboard but is for learners who are closer to having mastered the terms. You will choose a difficulty level of easy, medium, or hard that determines the speed of the game. You can also choose to study specific terms in Gravity. You must type the answer before the asteroid falls off the screen. If you cannot do so, you will be prompted to type the answer. It will not go on to the next question until you have typed the displayed word. Whether you want to take a more academic approach or play your way into mastery of vocabulary, Quizlet is an excellent place to do that.
If you want to learn vocabulary as you relax during your leisure time, or the strain of the blue light emanating from your computer screen has grown to be too much, check out Puzzlemaker. You can create up to 8 different word puzzles. It offers your typical word search and crossword puzzles but has a few unique puzzle types that you may not find in the Sunday paper.
A unique Puzzlemaker puzzle is one called "Double Puzzle." You will choose your title. Then you will list out vocabulary words from the category of your choosing. Then you will put the name of the category you will be covering. The computer will scramble your vocabulary words and choose a letter from each word to create the word or phrase that is your category name to circle. Each circled letter will be put in the corresponding box at the bottom of the puzzle to spell out your category word or phrase.
Another unique puzzle option is the "Hidden Message" puzzle. This puzzle is a word search with a catch: the leftover letters form a hidden message. You will start by choosing your title. You will then write out the vocabulary words you wish to find. Lastly, you will need to write out the hidden phrase that you would like to use. The words will be hidden in your puzzle diagonally, horizontally, up and down, backwards, and forwards in any one of those directions. You will circle or cross through words as you find them. Any letters that are not used, you will list out in the blanks below the puzzle starting from the top left and moving to the right. If you would like to further practice your vocabulary, you could try writing out the definition of the words as you find them.
If you want to review vocabulary alone or with a few friends, Kahoot is an excellent website to use. There is a catch though: you will need at least two devices, two different internet tabs, or the Kahoot app and an internet tab to play. One device, tab, or app will serve as the game host at kahoot.com, while the other(s) will allow you to play by either going to kahoot.it or by using the app. To begin, the host device will need to go to kahoot.com sign in or sign up. Then will need to either find an already created vocabulary quiz or create one. Then, click play. You will have options to play "Player vs. Player" (Classic mode) or "Team vs. Team" (using either shared devices or personal devices).
There are many different options for the game settings. You can choose to whether questions and answers will only be displayed on the device that is hosting the game (such as a tv screen) or on individual screens. You can then select the music that you want to play as people enter the game and during game play. You can opt to generate clean nicknames if participants try to use an inappropriate username. You can also choose to randomize the order of the questions and answers. This would be necessary, if you have done that particular Kahoot before and do not want people memorizing where answers are and when questions will appear.
Once you have the settings as you want them, you will click on the game mode that you want to play. Once all the players or you have entered your name, the host will click play.
A preview of the question will appear before the answer choices are displayed. Once the answers are displayed, it is a free-for-all to see who will answer the fastest to get the highest number of points.
The answers will be inside 4 differently colored rectangles (red, blue, yellow, and green) with a corresponding shape (triangle, diamond, circle, and square) for those of a color-blind persuasion. Unless you have opted to display the questions and answers on devices, only the colors and shapes of the answers will appear on participant devices.
After all participants have answered or time has run out, the round will end, and the correct answer will be displayed. The number of people who chose each answer will also be displayed.
Once the answer has be properly observed or discussed, the host can move onto the next screen. This screen will display the scoreboard that displays the points and placements of each player.
Upon the game ending, the names of the top 3 players will appear on the podium. The percentage of questions correct will also display. Any questions that were missed by a good number of players will be displayed under "Difficult questions." You can choose to view full report to see who missed what question and their individual percentages of correct answers. If you would like feedback from participants, you can choose that option. Players will be able to rate the game and its helpfulness to them.
Whether you want to really drill new vocabulary through using Quizlet, or you want to practice physical paper with Puzzlemaker, or even make it a group effort with Kahoot, these 3 free websites for practicing vocabulary need to be on your go-to list!
Need to practice vocabulary in a group setting? Check out our article 3 Fun Online Group Vocabulary Games here.
Not sure which website would best for your learning style? Check out our article on learning styles here.