Looking for ways to bolster your English vocabulary skills? You’ll find plenty in this guide, with links to great vocabulary resources from around the web. There are tools for teachers and parents looking for strategies to help students excel. There are activities specifically for ESL learners, and others made for advanced English students. You’ll also find test preparation materials, skill-building quizzes, and dozens more ways to boost your English vocabulary IQ.
Vocabulary Resources for ESL Learners
English vocabulary can be tough to master, especially if English isn’t your native language. The resources in this section are designed particularly for English as a Second Language students and teachers to help bridge the gaps in understanding English terms. Find fun games and quick quizzes, or delve more deeply into the language to get at a given word’s context and connotations — not just its definition.
This is a particularly fun way to practice English vocabulary and culture. Each guide provides a synopsis of an English language movie — from “The Incredibles” to “Doctor Strangelove,” providing a great way to immerse oneself in commonly used terms that are typically not found in a textbook.
These quick quizzes and fun lessons from 5 Minute English let students practice English vocabulary concepts in small doses. This is a great way to get in some studying when time is limited.
On this page you’ll find a long list of short lessons to help ESL learners improve their vocabulary. The worksheets ask students to navigate different scenarios where appropriate word usage is key.
This site is brimming with games and activities for ESL students — from young children to adult learners. There are also some handy tools to help ESL teachers engage their students.
General Vocabulary Tools
Bookmark these pages so you’ll always have access to an array of helpful vocabulary tools. Whether you’re putting together a speech, writing a paper, or just looking to expand your personal lexicon you’ll find lots of valuable tools to help you find exactly the right words.
You can only use the word “great” to describe something so many times. Words lose their power with overuse, so it’s always a good idea to find different ways of saying something. This is the go-to page for expanding your vocabulary in an instant. Just type in your word and get a comprehensive list of synonyms and antonyms.
This interactive site is both a dictionary and thesaurus. Enter a term, and it will generate a cool color-coded word map showing related terms. Put your cursor over any word on the map for its definition, right-click to run an Internet search on it.
This site also uses a visual mapping system to help you investigate words in depth. Start with a single word or phrase and get a list of variations, synonyms, antonyms and even “fuzzynyms.”
Type any word into the search field and get instant definitions and meanings. You’ll also get great information about origins and root forms.
Resources for Educators and Parents
Looking for ways to help students practice vocabulary concepts and improve their written and verbal communication skills? The resources listed here are designed for teachers, parents, and home educators. There are lesson plans, tests, games, and lots of other effective ways to get kids of all ages engaged in learning vocabulary.
This free vocabulary resource was designed for teachers and parents, and features lessons and learning games for students from kindergarten through high school. While much of the site can be accessed for free, additional resources become available with a paid membership.
Here you’ll find fun learning resources for students from grades 6 through 12, along with lots of apps to download for on-the-go vocab-building activities. Students can use the study rooms to play games, quiz themselves, and even create virtual classrooms to study with others.
This fun page was created by Merriam Webster to help kids expand their vocabulary and cultivate enthusiasm for exploring words. On it, they can build their own dictionaries and play educational games.
On this site, find loads of cool learning resources for students. Prepare for tests and quizzes, explore tailored lesson plans, and use several interactive tools and fun puzzles — all designed to help to improve English vocabulary skills.
Vocabulary Test Preparation
Mastery of English vocabulary is a key skill, and one that must be demonstrated when it comes time to take most standardized tests. These pages contain help that has been created specifically to aid in preparing for the vocabulary section of major tests — from elementary to graduate school.
Use this free information from Michigan State University to boost your vocabulary knowledge or to study for vocabulary portions of major exams like the GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT. There’s even a whole section dedicated to frequently confused and misused words.
VocabTest offers lots of free vocabulary tests at several grade levels, including the Advanced Placement curriculum. You can also make your own tests, play games, and study for the vocabulary section of the SAT.
On this page you can take any of 39 advanced English vocabulary quizzes designed for high-level learners. These quizzes are an excellent way to prepare for in-class quizzes as well as standardized tests. If you are trying to test into an AP class, these will help you hone your skills.
This comprehensive list from Vocabulary.com provides volumes of study materials for the SAT, AP vocabulary tests, the GRE test, and lots more.
More Vocabulary Resources
If you’re still searching for more great ways to practice and improve your English vocabulary skills, check out these sites and pages. Take a fast-paced quiz to see how adept you really are at word usage or take an intellectual journey to linguistic roads-less-traveled.
Test your English vocabulary mettle with these 10-question quizzes from Merriam Webster. You only get 10 seconds to answer each question — answer faster and get more points. Harder questions earn you more points, too. Take as many quizzes as you like, then see how your results stack up against other participants.
The OWL — or Online Writing Lab — at Purdue is a tried-and-true resource. Whether you’re writing a research paper or the next great fiction novel, the OWL is filled with accurate, helpful information to help you raise the level of quality in your writing. The pages in this section of the lab focus on correct word usage across multiple scenarios.
For true word-lovers, The Phrontistery provides a welcoming place to explore obscure words. Learn about word origins through linguistic and anthropological lenses, find little-known facts about words and numbers, and even pick up some Scrabble words to wow your friends.
On the screen you see a letter, along with the definition of a word that starts with it. Type in the correct word to get points and move on to the next word. It’s more challenging than it sounds, and getting good at it will boost your vocabulary skills and your typing speed.