> Mrs. O'Neill's Blog: Quizlet

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I am generally happier with teaching vocabulary in context, but sometimes I find it necessary to give students a list of words that they will be encountering in our next book or poem. That is especially the case when we are looking at older texts where familiar words are used differently. It is also helpful when giving students the correct critical terminology for language features.

I'm not sure how I came across quizlet.com. However I find it enormously helpful as a teacher. It's a site which allows you to make up vocabulary sets and share them with other users.

The story of its origins is also rather inspiring. Its founder, Andrew Sutherland, from Albany, California was fifteen years old when he decided that the easiest way to learn his French vocabulary was to make it digital. He began developing the website after school and at weekends. Andrew graduated from high school this summer and headed off to college (MIT) with the best wishes of his 200,000 users. Read about it here on his blog.

As a teacher, I think the two features which I like best are: the ability to create a group where all my vocabulary sets are accessible; and the games testing option to help you memorize. I also like the fact that Quizlet will make up tests for you, which can be customized to include questions that genuinely test a student’s understanding of the word, not just their ability to match words from a word bank.

It’s simple for my students to sign up at home, and all they need to view my vocabulary sets is a password I give them. Some of my pupils have told me they are beginning to make up their own sets for other subjects too.

If I had any suggestions for improvement, it would be a request for a feature that allowed you to hear the pronunciation of a word when you moused over it. That way the website would be playing to all the learning styles at once, visual, kinesthetic and auditory. On the other hand that would mean I would no longer have the fun of hearing my students pronounce new words as I do, unconsciously following my Scots accent. They can always go to dictionary.com to hear it in American.

Have a look at quizlet and see what you think.


Anonymous said...

This is great. I'll have to see if I can get the guineapigs to use it for revision - chemistry and geography spring to mind! As well as English and French, of course.

I hope you're still enjoying life on the other side of the water.


Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

Thanks gpm -yes still enjoying it here. The autumn trees are amazing. Getting a bit nervous/excited about the winter ahead now that I know what to expect.
Hope you are continuing to gain physical strength!

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting indeed. In Germany, I used a similar system called phase-6. It does the exact same thing, works as an offline application, and soon also online.

The difference is that phase-6 is based on brain research by Hermann Ebbinghaus and is modeled after the Leitner cardboard box.

As far as I know, phase-6 has more than 400,000 users in Germany. I contacted them in the U.S. because I think there is no better software to practice vocabulary and knowledge items across subject areas. By the end of the year, a new version will be available.

They also created teacher reports so that phase-6 can be used as a complementary tool.

Anyway, happy practicing!

Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way - phase-6 also allows you to use multimedia (i.e. audio, pictures, and videos) in your flashcards. A pretty neat think I think.

Vista4563 (alias) said...

Quizlet is a great web resource. I think it would be awesome as an iPhone application, but this website is superior in and of itself. 9/10.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I am a college sophomore with a dual major in Physics and Mathematics @ University of California, Santa Barbara. By the way, i came across these excellent education flashcards. Its also a great initiative by the FunnelBrain team. Amazing!!!