Vocabulary Tools

Vocabulary tools include dictionaries, thesauruses, flash card creators, and virtual learning environments. This is not to suggest that students could not utilize, for example, audio or literacy tools for learning academic vocabulary while working on content.


Quizlet is a flash card creator with variety of learning games. Users can make personal sets, share them, embed them, or find sets created by others. Quizlet is particularly well suited for memorization of terms. The learning mode includes familiarization, study, and test mode. Games include Scatter and Space Race. Some sets include a beta version of Voice Scatter and Voice Race.


WordSift is a tool that was created to help teachers teach vocabulary. It integrates different tools in one convenient place. These tools include Google image search, Visual Thesaurus, and Word Generator, a middle school academic language program. As its name implies WordSift sifts the vocabulary of inserted text helping users visualize the vocabulary. The results can be sorted into common to rare words, rare to common, or alphabetically in the automatically generated word cloud. Users have an option for marking Language Arts, Math, Science, or Social Studies vocabulary. An academic wordlist, a general service list, or a custom word list can also be generated.


CAPL, Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a source for authentic images for language learning. The authentic photographs with Creative Commons license are arranged by language and context. Users can browse for vocabulary from different categories or use the search function.


Lexipedia is an online dictionary that creates a web of related words in five different language options. It does not translate the words, however. Different parts of speech are color coded, as are synonyms, antonyms, and fuzzynyms. The searched words are revealed as a part of a greater web of language, which can be useful for word study and writing instruction. Since many of the words are recorded as well, the tool can be used for practicing pronunciation. User can also choose to leave parts of speech or relationships out of the graph.


Mingoville is an English learning community for kids that was created to fulfill Danish 3rd to 5th grade English curriculum requirements. The web-based program includes more than 100 English exercises and games, as well as an easy to use teacher planning and administration tool. The exercises include practice in spelling, speaking, reading, and writing. Mingoville appears to have potential for beginning level English learning as it introduces basic vocabulary and guides learners to use it. Mingoville has two parts to it: Mingoville School (learning mode) and Mingoville Virtual World (multiplayer play mode). The virtual world teaches kids English in a free online global community where learners safely play and talk to their friends using English. Mingoville School includes missions, dictionary, My Book, and Homework Evaluation for those whose teachers use Mingoville to assign tasks.

Snappy Words

Snappy Words is an online visual dictionary and thesaurus that could be useful for demonstrative purposes. As it requires understanding of parts of speech, domains, links between synsets, and other descriptive words used to explain the geometric representations, the tool appears to be useful for writers and for vocabulary study.

Vocabulary and Spelling City

Vocabulary and Spelling City is a website that makes spelling fun. The site features over 42,000 spelling words with customizable sentences and definitions. Furthermore, teachers can create their own spelling lists and activities for their students. Each list of words can be assigned to any group of students. For each list students have a choice of four options: teach me, play a game, vocabulary test, or spelling test. The site features 15 different games to play online or print. Vocabulary and Spelling City also has two writing practice activities that teachers can use with their word lists and custom instructions. Both activities help develop and demonstrate an understanding of word meaning and writing ability. With the free account, teachers and students have a choice of printing assignments, completing them individually online, or working on them collaboratively on an interactive projection screen. Teachers can link their word lists to their website or blog by using the unique URL assigned for it.

Creaza Mindomo

Mindomo is an online mind-mapping tool for visual learning. It is part of the Creaza suite of web-based creativity tools. Mindomo users can organize and categorize ideas, links, and other information visually. The mind map is suited to exploring new material, looking at connections between new and known knowledge, organizing material for further development, and developing creativity and problem solving skills. Mind map topics can contain media files, as well as text.