ESL/EFL Teaching and Learning Resources

Vocabulary resources
Vocabulary Knowledge - Tests
Glossing Tools
Online Graphical Dictionaries
Frequency Counts
Daily Vocabulary subscription
Words/Phrases, Meaning, & Origin / Idioms

Vocabulary flashcards & exercises

Vocabulary Resources
(see also Online Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, and Translations;
Concordancing and Collocations

Vocabulary Knowledge - Tests

Compleat Lexical Tutor - Vocabulary Tests <>  -- Four main types: Levels (recognition + productive), Associates, Yes-No

Glossing Tools

Lingro <> -- a multi-language glossing tool; enter a Web page and click words to get glosses in other languages (contributed by Susan Churchill, CALL Online 2014)

LookWAYup <> -- On ANY web site, highlight a term with your mouse by double-clicking or dragging the mouse, then press 'LookWAYup' on your Links bar. A LookWAYup window will appear with information about that word. Install free browser plug-in:  LookWAYup combines dictionary, thesaurus, translation, and other handy tools, also for translations to other languages.  Integrate it into your browser by following the 10-second directions on-- the dictionary on your web site.  Also see The wireless dictionary for your cell phone or wireless PDA.

Online Graphical Dictionaries

Visuwords <> -- dictionary/thesaurus; look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams of connected meanings. See how words are associated with other words.

The Visual Thesaurus <> -- 14-day trial; an amazing visual tool that maps a word and its synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech meanings, sample sentences, etc.  Try typing in the word "experience" to see what you get, and don't forget to click "Display Options" at the top!

LanguageGuide <> -- vocabulary with mouse-over voice, graphics, and text in different languages, including ESL; many different topics; site contributed by Aimee Perrino

Frequency Lists/Counts

Vocabulary.One <>  -- 20,000 most frequent words, in 1,000-word increments, with self-test for the first 10,000 words; site based on Paul Nation's work

Word Frequency Lists <> -- includes the Academic Word List; Virtual Language Center, University of Victoria, Hong Kong

Chris Greaves' Text Analyzer <> -- Text Word Frequency Analyser for the 2000 Most Frequent Word Families and Academic Word List; University of Victoria's Virtual Language Center, Hong Kong

Describing Words <> -- a tool similar to a thesaurus but more expanded; it searches a large corpus (the Project Gutenberg books) to find adjectives to describe nouns; they can be sorted by frequency or uniqueness.

Daily Vocabulary subscriptions

Daily Page For Students Of English <> -- This page changes daily and includes such things as "Proverb of the Day," "Word of the Day" and "Idiom of the Day."

Word.A.Day <>  -- written definitions and voice recording to assist a learner with word pronunciation (contributed by Anna Marie Robinson); email subscription, RSS feed available

Merriam Webster's Word of the Day <> -- includes email subscription and RSS feed
Merriam Webster's Word for the Wise <> -- with audio broadcast

Oxford English Dictionary, Word of the Day <>  -- includes meaning, etymology and date chart; email subscription at

English Idioms and Slang <> -- Slang and idiom lessons for learners of English; podcasts (audio blogs) for listening with scripts (blogs) and explanations of vocabulary, idioms, cultural conventions, etc.; RSS feed:

Words/Phrases, Meaning, Origin, Idioms

Learning Chocolate <> -- a vocabulary learning platform with words/phrases from many categories, with images and pronunciation (US and UK); games to check learning (matching, fill-in-the blank, dictation

Phrase of the Week <> -- from OneStop English

BBC Learning English Grammar and Vocabulary <> -- words, phrases -- with text/audio; site includes Keep your English Up to Date (audio and text about English words, phrases, phenomena with David Crystal)

Antagonyms <

Heteronyms <

ESL Idiom Page <> -- lists, definitions, examples, by Dennis Oliver

ESL Cafe's Phrasal Verb Page <> -- lists, definitions, examples, by Dennis Oliver 

Idioms 4 You <> -- search for idioms and their meaning; ask the teacher (Robert Ross)

ESL Cafe's Slang Page <> -- by Dave Sperling


Focusing On Words <> -- searchable database of words of Latin and Greek origin, grouped into thematic units; includes definitions for roots, prefixes, and suffixes


Vocabulary Flashcards & Exercises

Quizlet <> -- great interactive, collaborative tool with networking page to create flashcards with sound and pictures, practice exercises, games, and tests that generate random matching, multiple-choice, and true/false questions; groups allow students to collaborate on sets

Anki <> -- download; flashcards; supports images, audio, video, scientific markup (via LaTeX); free AnkiWeb synchronization service keeps cards in sync across multiple devices; spaced interval reminders

StudyBlue <> -- Flashcards, quizzes and progress tracking. Make your own, or borrow from the millions of flashcards and notes already available. Online or on your mobile device (Apple or Android).

Cram <> --  free registration necessary; use pre-made flashcards or create your own slide show of flashcards, with definitions on the back side (flip); then create memory exercises/games, print, and/or download (export) them; available for several languages

Memrise <> -- flashcard tool with sound, images, explanations, usage of words/phrases; with scheduled reminders; premade flashcard "courses" created by its community; mainly for foreign languages; with app

ESL Gold Vocabulary <>  -- for every level: words/phrases, quizzes

Word-based Games for ESL Students <> -- matching, speed, jig-saw exercises with prefixes, homonyms, opposites, irregular plurals/verbs, word forms (v,n), suffixes, and more; see also the larger site for vocabulary: English Vocabulary Word Lists with Games, Puzzles, and Quizzes <>

SuperKids Vocabulary Builders <> -- by grade level

Grammar, Vocabulary, and Culture Quizzes <> -- grammar explanations and interactive exercises in HotPotatoes, especially for lower proficiencies (beginner, low intermediate, intermediate), by Isabel Pérez Torres (and others)    

University of Victoria English Language Centre Study Zone  <> -- vocabulary/matching exercises for beginners (in Hot Potatoes)

The ESL Study Hall (by Christine Meloni) -- VOCABULARY  <>  (Flags and Countries Quiz, Word Drop and Quiz Wiz)

Common American Slang < University <> -- A free site that allows students at high-elem., junior high and high school levels, teachers and life-long learners to acquire and retain vocabulary. Each free session has three levels. Each level has 3 puzzles with 12 words each (36 total words in a session) and contains seven (7) additional activities/exercises that help develop vocabulary. It is continuously updated.

Webopedia <> -- online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology

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