Learning languages is always challenging, especially learning new words which usually contain unfamiliar sounds and letters is scaring both for students and adults. As teachers we wanted to help students of our school because they indicated vocabulary as a major obstacle that makes it difficult if not impossible to use new words in their speech. So, we started to search actively for new strategies.
At first we tried to organize 5-minute activities at every lesson in different forms. One of such activities that we used frequently was memory challenge. The procedure is following: you show students 10-20 phrases that were learned previously and they were asked to look at the list for 2 minutes. As a result they were supposed to write all words they remembered paying attention on spelling. Even though the idea was not to overload student with writing and make learning process interactive we definitely did not achieve our goal.
Suddenly we realized that students needed to find their ways of learning and practicing new words. In addition, the time that student can provide for these activities was not similar and as they study at a boarding school there are students who could learn immediately after school, and there are some for whom it takes an hour to get home. Thus, we were searching for online tools that are available for all students. Furthermore, these tools can be used in different places. Also we wanted students to enjoy the process of enriching vocabulary.
As in response to our mission recently we have found a wonderful website. It provides plenty of opportunities for learners and teachers to improve their grammar and vocabulary. Searching for more information on this website I was surprised that it was created by 15-year-old boy who wanted to make learning French easier.
The website is available for different ages and types of schools. There are people from all over the world and it is always interesting to see that the person from Florida or Israel is working on same tasks. In general, we understood that Quizlet is a worldwide educational utility that allows students and teachers make learning process more enjoyable. In addition, it reduces the amount of paper and students see that we are trying to save the planet and stop deforestation. Consequently, we decided to give the website a chance.
At first our students were skeptical. When they started to learn vocabulary using this website they did not understand why there were so many buttons. Then they got interested after receiving first results of vocabulary quiz. As a result our students got involved and they enjoyed practicing vocabulary a lot. The reason could lie in availability of various ways to learn vocabulary. There are definitions of words, flashcards with pictures and speller activities helping with pronunciation. Moreover, there is a tool that tests students’ learning and even records their voice so they can share it with others.
We started to use Quizlet this month and I still have many questions about opportunities of it. I plan to use this website often especially when I am on my studies in Astana and students are in Karaganda preparing for their final exams.
Technology for Teachers and Students (Director). (2014). Quizlet Virtual Flashcards 2014 Tutorial retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN6dP3tPYi0&hd=1