Teachers with ELL students in their classrooms may find Vocabla useful. With these students, you can create word lists related to topics studied or books read in class. For a more informal use, you can have students regularly add to their word lists as they come across words they don't know.
In a non-ESL classroom or with students who speak English as a first language, it also works as a vocabulary builder. Students preparing for the SAT or other important exams can create lists full of higher-level words. Others may use it to help them learn unfamiliar words in books they're reading. However, you should be sure to go over definitions with your students and encourage them to double-check meanings, as the definitions the app provides may not be accurate.Continue reading Show less
Vocabla lets learners create custom word lists or access word lists based on popular topics. Using those lists, students practice matching vocabulary words with their definitions or translations through both a multiple choice and short answer game. To start, students select their native language from Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Vietnamese, Turkish, Portuguese, or Polish. If students select "other language" during setup, the app uses English definitions or synonyms in the activities. They can then browse user-created lists or begin entering words for their own custom lists. Once they select or create a word list, students see words in their native language (or the English definition) and must choose the corresponding English word. While playing games, students earn points and reach milestones, encouraging them to keep practicing and building their English vocabulary. Students can share progress with other users or through social media.
The strength of Vocabla is as a platform for student-created vocab study lists. In addition, some of the ready-made lists will be useful for English learners. However, the app doesn't allow students to input their own definitions -- only the vocab words. And the definitions automatically generated by the app aren't always the most common usage. For example, the app's definition of "wolf" is "a man who is aggressive in making amorous advances to women." While this might be an informal definition of "wolf," it's probably not the definition the student who created the list "animals/los animales" meant to use. The app does give the option to choose an alternate definition, but judging from the user-generated word lists, that feature isn't obvious to all students. With a Pro account upgrade, students can hear pronunciations of the words, which is a helpful feature. However, the flashcard-style learning activities lack depth, and aren't likely to cement learning.
Key Standards Supported
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
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