Legitimize Vocab Revision

My students often moan about tedious vocab revision. Despite ingenious online tools that help them revise (Quizlet), it still seems a boring chore to them.

One part of the solution to me seems to show them their own progress, to make their learning visible.  So, I have my students measure their vocab size at the beginning and the end of the term.

A great service for that endeavour is testyourvocab.com. The site offers a simple way of testing your vocabulary size. To measure how many words you know they present you with two sets of words – the first with a handful of words to determine the general vocabulary level, the second with a larger but narrower selection of words. You simply tick the ones you know and then they calculate your vocabulary size based on these samples. To get a more precise result I recommend doing it 3 times and just calculating the average.

In my experience making learning visible is a very strong means of motivation especially for teens. If they can see their progress they are more likely to follow you through the hard – and sometimes tedious – work that needs to be done in order to accomplish something at school.


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