There are a number of online dictionaries including an excellent one for English language learners from Macmillan. Another interesting tool is EasyDefine which will define a list of words on one page. This site also has a number of other tools that help in reviewing the definitions including a flashcard and quiz maker. Here is how it works:
Defining multiple words:
- Go to EasyDefine and make sure it is on the ‘Home’ tab.
- Type or copy in a list of words. Add a hard return after each word.
- Click on ‘generate at the bottom of the box and you definitions will appear in the box.
- Before clicking on ‘generate’ you can also change a few of the settings by clicking on ‘Advanced Options’ near the bottom of the box. This brings up a few options such as numbering, alphabetizing, the number of definitions per word, and hiding the parts of speech.
- Once you have the list of definitions, you can download the definitions as a Word document.
- Once you have a list of definitions, you can click on the ‘Extras’ tab and you know have a choice of finding synonyms, creating an online quiz, downloading flashcards as a Word document, or creating a series of worksheets.
- Clicking on ‘Synonyms’ brings up a short list of synonyms within the box on the screen.
- Clicking on ‘Quiz Yourself’ brings up a list of quiz options that can be done online and are self-correcting.
- Clicking on ‘Generate Flashcards’ will create a download a Word doc that you can edit and print out.
- Clicking on ‘Generate Worksheets’ gives you a number of options for printable worksheets that can be shown as a webpage or downloaded as a Word document.
- Click on the tab at the top of the page marked as ‘InstaDefine’ and you will be taken to a place where you can find a definition as you start to type with the synonyms listed below.
While the definitions may be difficult for intermediate or lower students, higher level students will find the InstaDefine option handy for when they are unsure of the spelling. Also, the self-marking aspect is great for students to review words. Students can create a list of words during the day and then review them on their own. Please note that there are some advertisements on the website. While I didn’t find any that were a problem so far, I would suggest using a browser plugin such as AdBlock.
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