Erin Bouma's Recommended
Technology Tools for Vocabulary Study
Nik Peachey is a freelance learning technology consultant, writer and teacher trainer who specializes in learning technology and social media for language development and teacher training. These are some of his sites for teachers:
Wordle is a playful way of generating “word clouds” from a text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can design your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends. Interesting and fun way to work with words.
This site enables students to create and share word lists, but more as well. You can click through to a range of information sources. More useful though, you can get images related to the words you use, make notes about each word and view notes from other users who have also included the same word in their word lists.
This a great tool for helping students to develop, learn and revise their vocabulary for free. You will need an email address to set up an account and use the word list features, but if not you can still use the word search functions.
Wordnik offers a far more accurate representation of the living language than other more traditional dictionary web sites, with around 4 mln entries. Statistics, tags, examples, constantly updated Twitter and Flickr streams, and an ongoing, on-site conversation about words, their usage and their meaning provide not only a comprehensive look at how we define things, but about how fluid that definition is.
This site is the work of Erin McKean, an editor who used to compile American dictionaries for Oxford University Press.
When you enter a phrase or text, this site produces a “word cloud”, but also does more functional things. From the word cloud, you can start actually clicking on the words and exploring their meanings and getting examples.
With Wordsift, students can dig more deeply into a text and pull out vocabulary with words, definitions and images which can be collected together in a digital vocabulary book. They can also use this tool before reading to prepare new vocabulary and predict what the text will be about.
The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary/thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning.
The “Vocabgrabber” feature pulls in information about words in a text, gives examples and also shows related words and word families.
“List it. Define it. Learn it.” is their motto.
EasyDefine was developed to speed up the time people spend looking up vocabulary words. Just copy and paste a word list into the text box in any format. All the words will be extracted and defined (taken from Princeton’s WordNet 3.0). The list, in its entirety, can then be downloaded as a word document, viewed on the website, or emailed to you. Advanced options include alphabetizing and numbering your list. You can specify the maximum number of definitions for each word. The synonyms tab provides you with synonyms.
This could be a great tool for creating paper based vocabulary worksheets. QuickDefine is a feature offering a maximum of 2 definitions per word with the click of a button.