Top sites for teaching English vocabulary

Teaching vocabulary can definitely get a little boring and repetitive, here are some great sites to help keep interest high and activities varied:

The Flatmates by BBC Learning English

The Flatmates is a pithy, entertaining series of four characters – students will love following the episodes.  What’s great about this series is that each episode comes with materials, ideas, and worksheets for teachers, as well as quizzes and vocabulary lists.  This would be a particularly great resource for teachers with access to the internet, but lacking on extra teaching materials – everything you need for a whole series of lessons is on the website!


By far, this is the best vocabulary website I’ve seen.  It’s well thought-out and easy to navigate, with a variety of vocabulary sets for different levels, purposes, and ages.  Some of it’s greatest features:

  • Diagnostic test that measures your ability and places you at a specific level.
  • Audio files with word pronunciation
  • Progress reports on the words you are learning
  • Recent news articles to read which contains the words being studied
  • Ability to print sentence completion or matching worksheets.

Really, the only downside to this website is that it’s not free :(.

Free Rice

Though simpler than Vocab Sushi, it’s a great FREE way to practice vocab at a specific level as it also guages the level you are at in vocab and teaches words from there.  Another great perk is that for every answer you get right, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme.

WordReference Online Language Dictionaries

Word references offer English dictionaries in 13 languages, plus a monolingual dictionary.  What I LOVE LOVE LOVE about this site is all the extra usage tips it provides to give the words contextual meaning.  It offers forums for native speaker / L2 learner interaction, as well as multiple forms of usage for each word.  While the interface looks fairly simple, the breadth and depth of tools on are fantastic.


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