November 1, 2011 Features
Building Vocabulary with Online Tools
Vocabulary building is valuable not only for second-language learners, but also for many clients we serve from young (e.g., children with developmental delays and language disorders) to old (e.g., stroke survivors who are relearning language skills) and every age between. It is also valuable for professionals and students in communication sciences and disorders programs!
Although there are still many "sniglets" (things for which there are currently no words, an estimated 4,000 new words are added to the English language each year. That means since my last column on words (Feb. 10, 2009), there have been more than 10,000 new vocabulary words added, along with many additional vocabulary materials available online.
Pictures of Vocabulary Words
- Learning Chocolate lists more than 120 categories, linked to several vocabulary activities including simply looking at the pictures and hearing the vocabulary words in that category
- Language Guide offers many categories available in 18 languages. Scroll over the pictures for the spoken vocabulary word.
- Words from KinderSay.com has 15 categories with numerous photographs. Select a photograph to access clear audio and visual pronunciation. Many of the photographs arranged in categories (actions to zoo animals) are available as free apps.
Two Favorite Picture Dictionaries
- Dicts.info Picture Dictionary contains more than 2,500 illustrations with translations in more than 30 languages. The site can be especially helpful for creating low-cost augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) boards or books for individuals who have had a stroke and remember an earlier language better than English. It is also excellent for second-language learners or creating flashcards for treatment in a language other than English.
- Internet Picture Dictionary in five languages. Look up words by first letter or in categories and create online flashcards or other activities.
- Inside Story Flashcards offers photos (with voice option) for basic, easy, medium, and hard words.
- Full-color vocabulary flashcards in five volumes from Baby Bumblebee
- Action pictures [PDF] can be printed on sticker-backed paper to put on an activity calendar, use as reinforcement, make flashcards, etc.
- Alphabet flashcards and learn English vocabulary games for kids.
- Games2Learn English [PDF] has great online and printable flashcards.
- AtFlashcard Exchange, check under "Education" for flashcards from pre-K to GRE and under "Medical" for "speech," "audiology," "phonics," and "SLP" vocabulary flashcards for helpful review (viewing is free, printing is not).
Games and Activities
Hundreds of additional sites to explore are available on: