Quizlet is a simple and brilliant learning tool that can help you learn almost anything, including English words and phrases. I have only recently started using it and most of my students are already benefiting from this wonderful service. Read on to find out about the main advantages and my top tips on how to use Quizlet most efficiently.
The idea behind Quizlet is quite simple. It started when its founder Andrew Sutherland created a tool to help him learn French and shared it with his classmates. Nowadays with the help of Quizlet.com you can quickly and easily create your own study sets and use a variety of methods to learn and revise them.
The main advantages of Quizlet for learning English (or any other language)
- You can create your own individual sets of English words and phrases (for example, words from a book you are reading, words you learned in the last unit of your coursebook etc.).
Tip: you can use the “Import” function to copy and paste a list of words from your word, pdf or excel document.
- Quizlet has built-in dictionaries for the most popular languages, so in most cases you don’t even have to type the translation.
- There is quite a big image bank, so for most words and collocations you can find a picture to help you make visual associations.
- Quizlet will automatically upload a sound file to most of the words and phrases in your set, so you can practise your pronunciation, too.
- A variety of learning methods and games lets you choose what works best for you:
Flashcards – see the picture and translation/definition and try to recall the word or phrase. If you can’t remember, flip the flashcard to see the answer.
Learn – check how many items you already know and practice those you don’t know.
Speller – listen to the words and phrases and type them correctly.
Test – see the picture and translation/definition and type the word or phrase.
Scatter game – match pictures/translations/definitions with English words and phrases.
Gravity game – type in the answers quickly to catch the falling asteroids.
- Quizlet has apps for Android and Mac, so you can study your sets on the go.
My top tips on how to use Quizlet to study English most efficiently
- Always try to create sets around themes (for example, Clothes, Food, Feelings etc.). It’s much easier and more efficient for the brain to remember a group of English words related to the same topic.
- Definitely include images to help you make visual associations.
- When possible, include short phrases and collocations. Collocations are words that often go together. For example, instead of learning the word “effort”, learn a collocation “to make an effort”. This gives you a better idea of how to use English words and phrases in real life.
- You don’t have to use translation when you create a study set, especially if you are at an intermediate level or higher. To stimulate your brain even more try these ideas instead of the traditional translation:
- a dictionary definition (make an effort – try or attempt to do something),
- an example with a gap (You really need to make _______ to improve your test results.),
- synonyms (try, persevere, attempt),
- irregular verb forms (make – made, made),
- correcting potential mistakes (
doan effort – make an effort) – this is useful when you know what your typical mistakes are.
- Revise English words regularly until you feel confident and try to use them in your daily life. Even if you don’t speak English every day, you can think of the words or phrases you’ve learned recently in appropriate situations.
Why you should be careful when using sets created by other Quizlet users
There is quite a big bank of sets created by other users and teachers on Quizlet that you can learn as well. Some of them could be useful – for example, English numbers or English months. However, in most cases they were created for specific people and their individual needs. For instance, I create sets for my students where I include words that are new for them, key words from our readings or discussions, words that they typically forget or misspell. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to learn those, but it is much more efficient to create your own personalised sets. Even the process of creating a set, choosing images and translations or examples helps you remember the words better. Besides, Quizlet team has made it so easy that it won’t take more than 10-15 minutes.
Have you used Quizlet before? Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below! And, of course, contact me if you have any questions or need help.