Today, I was helping a student
who's reading The Hunger Games
and wanted to find her some
additional vocabulary practice. Unfortunately, the first thing I found was basically the cheat sheet for her actual assignment. Oops! I quickly took that back and thought about how in sync I must be with her English teacher.
After that, I looked for websites where students can practice the vocabulary and came across the wonderful world of Quizlet.com. It's got a ton of potential to use as a teaching and learning tool for all students and it's FREE. Since this is an EAL-themed blog, I'll focus on the language learning aspect.
A great way to learn and reinforce English vocabulary is by using index cards in which students write the word, its meaning, and draw a picture. They can also write a synonym, antonym, and even write a sentence using that word. This website allows students to either create their own set of flash cards or use sets already available on the website. There are already thousands of existing sets of vocabulary words for every possible subject at a variety of grade levels. In exploring the website, my student and I also discovered that there were many bilingual vocabulary cards in which students would be able to view words in their own language along with English.
Here's an example of a set of EAL oriented words. These are rooms and chores around the house. Students can read through the words, listen to them using the audio tool, and then proceed to practice using the quizzes or games available.
Another possibility for the program is to have students create their own vocabulary sets along with definitions and photos. For example, provide students with the word list and it's up to them to create the index cards with definitions and photos. You can add more required information as mentioned such as synonyms, antonyms, or writing a sentence using the word.
As you can probably tell, I was very excited about this website. I see tons of potential and am excited to use it in my next Science unit on biomes, food chains, and sustainability.