Saturday 17 September 2011

Creating online vocabulary activities

I have prepared this post with regard to the teacher training session when I am going to consult the teachers on creating online vocabulary activities for students to be used either in class or independently, at home.

There was time when only Hot Potatoes was available for creating interactive quizzes and it was a really cool program back then. Now we can choose from a vast variety of intelligent and user-friendly online tools and applications without the necessity of downloading the program.

One of my all-time favourite sites is Kubbu which lets the teacher create attractive interactive quizzes though you have to spend some time on it. There are different formats you can choose from, like Crossword, Match, Divide, Slider, Composer. Take a look at the samples (on the main page) to see what they look like.

Check out the activities I have created and used with my students.

Newspaper vocabulary for advanced students - multiple choice exercise to match the word with its synonym

Food vocabulary for elementary students - drag and drop exercise to sort the food nouns

Another website I have used for creating vocabulary lists is Wordstash which is a great site for learning vocabulary and in addition it makes some easy online activities from your word lists.

Teachers can choose from the ready-made lists or create their own which I did here. I prepared a short list of travel words (synonyms) which my intermediate students had problems to distinguish and made them practice until they knew the difference. Students can either first study the words in Learning Mode or go straight to Practice Mode and then play some easy online games with the words from the list.

My latest discovery is Word Dynamo website which is the youngest child of the parent site, still in Beta.

I took to it at once because it looks cool and it does everything itself, you only have to provide a list of words. The presence of the dictionary ensures you have a choice of definitions at hand, you just have to pick the one that suits your needs. The choice of activities include Match, Crossword, Listen, Write and Flashcards for learning the word definition and pronunciation.

Have a look at the word list Travel synonyms which I made for the same class as above to check out how this site works.

The next website I plan to explore is Educaplay which lets you create various multimedia activities which can be placed on e-learning platforms, eg. Moodle. A pity its blog is in Spanish, so for me there are two options - either I don't read it or learn Spanish :-)

Updated on 02.10.2011.
I tried creating activities on the site but most things on it are in Spanish including the instructions for students, so I have to drop the idea of using it. I also found the instructions for making activities confusing even though they were in English. Bad luck!

I also suggest you to visit Random Idea English website which publishes great grammar and vocabulary online and printable exercises to use with your students of upper-intermediate or advanced level.


Ann said...

Hi Baiba,

Thanks for talking us through these really useful resources.

Just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page if you'd like to check there for comments.

Please feel free to post on the page whenever you have anything you'd like to share.



Baiba said...

Thanks for passing this on, Ann! I'd be happy if people could take something from this post!

David Warr said...

Great for me to see these. Thank you indeed. Am always looking for what teachers like using in class.

Areti Gavalaki said...

Thank you for these useful tips, dear Baiba! I've just tried Word Dynamo and it's really cool!