Quizlet, Duolingo, Busuu…there are lots of apps on the market nowadays to help you learn and improve your English. But with so many options, it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start and what features each app offers you.
Quizlet is an easy-to-use app which helps you learn vocabulary in lexical sets – have a look at these 10 Useful Phrasal Verbs for example. As well as having access to the hundreds of word sets which have been created by learners and teachers around the world, you can also create your own sets, which is quick and easy to do once you set up your free account.
If you haven’t used Quizlet before, here’s a simple “how to” guide that shows you how to create a set of vocabulary cards to study and briefly explains the main features of the app.
So, now you know how Quizlet works, here are 5 top tips to help you make the most of the app.
Although you can create sets with translations into your own language, all our sets have the term and a definition in English. This means we can give you a much more specific meaning of the word instead of just one translation of it. As words sometimes have multiple meanings, linking a word with a definition rather than a translation will help you remember the context in which you use it.
Take for example muñeca which means both doll and wrist in English:
Imagine if you said, “I broke my cousin’s wrist” when you meant to say, “I broke my cousin’s doll” – one sounds much more serious than the other!
Another advantage of writing a definition in English is that you’ll expand your vocabulary even further. Remember, the more you use English, the better you’ll become!
Quizlet automatically keeps track of your progress and shows you the words which you’re having difficulty remembering. When you’re on the main page of a set, you can see the full set of words and definitions and once you start practising them, they are listed according to how well you’ve remembered them:
If there are words which you often struggle to remember and get incorrect, you can click on the star on the right-hand side and then choose to focus just on those words. As you answer correctly more often, the word will change from being Sometimes missed to Rarely missed to Always correct.
You can also click on the star if there are certain words which are especially important for you and then decide whether you want to practise all the words in a set or, using the filter, focus just on the ones which you’ve starred.
You can click on the audio button to hear the word or phrase at any time and it’s worth repeating each term as this will help it become firmer in your memory. When you’re practising the terms using the spell feature, instead of reading the definition, turn the audio on for an extra challenge.
A further benefit of using the spell feature is that it also makes you focus on the correct punctuation of compound words; for example, in our New English Words set you can find terms like gender-fluid, to binge-watch or post-truth.
When you play the match game, a timer on the left-hand side shows how long it takes you to correctly match all the terms in that set. Adding a competitive element is very motivating, so why not challenge yourself to beat your own time? Or, play against a friend. It’s easy to share sets with friends – just click on the arrow icon below the title of the set and you can send a link via email, Twitter or Facebook.
Make using Quizlet part of your daily routine and review sets which you’ve created or saved to keep the vocabulary fresh in your mind. It’s easy to use the app when you’re commuting – just a few minutes each and every day on the bus or train will help you learn new vocabulary.
For the study activities, Quizlet shows how much you’ve done and, if you’re playing at the dentist’s and have to go in for your appointment, you won’t lose what you’ve completed so far. Unfortunately, once the timer starts on the match game, it doesn’t stop until you’ve matched all the words or click back to exit the game. But, if you’re playing gravity and rescuing your planet from the asteroids hurtling towards it, you can pause the game at any time.
Have you tried using Quizlet? Which is your favourite feature? We’d love to hear from you!
Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.
On the market (exp): available, for sale.
Feature (n): aspect, function.
Overwhelming (adj): confusing, especially if there is too much information.
Set up (pv): open (an account).
Briefly (adv): quickly.
Make the most of (vp): take advantage of, get the best out of.
Term (n): word or phrase.
Keep track of (vp): keep a record of.
Struggle (v): find difficult.
Firmer (adj): stronger, more lasting.
Commute (v): travel regularly (e.g. to work or university).
Hurtle towards (v): move towards something very quickly.
adj = adjective
adv = adverb
exp = expression
n = noun
pv = phrasal verb
v = verb
vp = verb phrase