Here’s six online vocabulary games I’ve been using with my classes recently:
Test Your Vocab: Not – strictly speaking – a game, this website seeks to measure the number of words you know and then tells you the size of your vocabulary. If the learners are honest and don’t cheat, this could be a useful tool in helping them measure their progress, though presumably the more often they do it, the more familiar they’ll become with the test words. And of course they could go off and research the test word corpus…. Play the game here: http://testyourvocab.com/ – and thanks to Dave C for the spot!
Free Rice: matching words to definitions is the name of the game, but with Free Rice, every correct answer donates ten grains of rice to the World Food Program. This one has been around for a while but is really good for broadening vocabulary out a bit as it’s based around matching synonyms. Play the game here: http://freerice.com/ – and I think Neil told me about this, but it was a long time ago…
Root Words is an affixation based set of games that is great for First, Advanced and Proficiency students. Either split the prefix or suffix from the rest of the word, or match them to their meanings (e.g. pre = before). The use of terminology is a bit confusing (I understand something different by the term “root word”) and it seems aimed at native speakers, so do check the game out yourself before asking your classes to play! The website has a lot of other vocabulary based games available, but I’ve not experiemented with any of the others yet. Play the game here: http://www.vocabulary.co.il/root-words/
Knoword gives you the definition and asks you to type in the target word. A really nice spin on the traditional meaning matching task – answer as many as you can before the time runs out! Can be quite challenging – probably intermediate levels and above? Play the game here: http://www.knoword.org/ – and thanks to Jenny for demonstrating it in her recent seminar!
Whack Attack lets you choose between English, Science or Maths options (good for the CLIL crowd!), you then choose from multiple choice questions be whacking the correctly coloured characters parading across the screen. The English questions are mostly about the language (e.g. choose between metaphor, simile or idiom) and aimed at UK students rather than being about vocabulary per se. Try it and see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/games/whack/. Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for this one.
Only Connect is part vocabulary game, part general knowledge and part sheer torment that is based on a BBC gameshow. I can just about manage one “wall” in every ten. You get presented with sixteen words and you have to put them into the correct four categories. There’s a screenshot below so you can see what I mean. I think it depends on the individual, some of my students loved it and kept at it even though it was stupidly difficult – others got bored quite rapidly. What I think would work quite well is that after the students have played it online and understand how it works, they can create their own versions using chopped up bits of paper and can then challenge each other. This would be perfect for work with collocations, phrasal verbs or topic themed vocabulary revision. You can try and play the original game here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lskhg/features/quiz. And thanks again to Larry Ferlazzo.
Wednesday 19 March 2014 at 16:29
Reblogged this on Diary of a Newbie CELTA Trainer and commented:
Thanks TEFLgeek! (Vocab is one of my input sessions on my CELTA trainer-in-training program course).
Wednesday 19 March 2014 at 21:08
Reblogged this on Teacherpants and commented:
Some good ideas for classes with high level, motivated students where there’s time for some fun as well. I particularly like Only Connect and Knoword — they’re on their way to becoming my favourite time wasters.
Thursday 20 March 2014 at 11:12
Reblogged this on Colegio Muntori.
Thursday 20 March 2014 at 12:06
Reblogged this on English?! Mais c'est facile! and commented:
My vocabulary choice for the week
Sunday 30 March 2014 at 06:52
Great resources to improve my vocabulary, thank you!!
Thursday 10 April 2014 at 10:26
Very pleased to be able to tell you that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil, if you’d like to check there for likes and comments.
Great to have a chance to meet up and chat at IATEFL.
Friday 11 April 2014 at 10:19
Friday 11 April 2014 at 10:36
Monday 30 June 2014 at 06:51
Reading is good “Passive” way of improving vocabulary, but when you are resorting to making lists, that is “Active” method. Problem with active method of learning words is that it is cumbersome and boring, and you doing retain and unless you use it in writing sentences to apply the word, very little chance is that you increase your lexical size.
Improve Your Vocabulary – VocabMonk is an active learning tool which is personalized and makes sure you grasp the learnt words by applying it. It is lot of fun too as you can play vocab challenges with your friends.
Give it a shot!
Wednesday 5 November 2014 at 22:57
Please check also our English vocabulary games on http://www.gamelingua.com We have already two games based on extensive list of over 2900 most frequently used English words. Enjoy!