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Memrise: Interactive Flashcards

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector (optional), speaker(s) and/or mobile device(s)

Activity Description

Beginning level students can learn and practice basic vocabulary with the English Visual Dictionary Course in Memrise, a Web site with accompanying app that reinforces vocabulary learning with interactive flashcard-like "mems," which can be mnemonics, etymologies, amusing videos, photos, example sentences, and adaptive testing with multiple choice and short answer questions. This course is just one of numerous ESL courses. Teachers can also create their own courses, and students can modify/add their "mems" to be more personalized.


  1. Start by registering for a Memrise account as a teacher.
  2. Confirm your e-mail account in the e-mail you receive in your inbox from Memrise.
  3. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school, if you plan to use the Web-based version with students. Set the volume of the computer(s) and/or app(s) at a reasonable volume.
  4. If you plan to have students use the app, download the app on the devices students will use. Enable your school’s wi-fi on each device. Note: This may require a password.
  5. If you plan to use the English Visual Dictionary course, select a section that fits with your teaching topics. Practice using the site and/or app to familiarize yourself with the activities.
  6. If you teach a higher level, you can browse for other courses at Find English Courses.
  7. Optionally, add a course to your courses, have students create accounts, and add students. There are support pages available to help you with this.


  1. Teach a lesson or plan and execute a preparation activity related to the vocabulary you have chosen in the course.
  2. Demonstrate for students how to create their own accounts. They will need e-mail accounts and will need to verify their e-mail in the message they receive in their inboxes from Memrise.
  3. Select a course. Some courses, like the English Visual Dictionary, have units, while others do not. If there are units, select a unit. All the words will be listed.
  4. Select Learn these Words.
  5. Depending on the flashcard deck, the flashcards may have a word, audio, a definition, an image, and a sample sentence. If the word is known by the student, he or she can select next. If the student is unfamiliar with the word, he or she can choose "Help me remember this." Then the student can select a “mem” that will help him/her remember the word or the student can select "add a mem.” There is an on-screen tutorial that shows how to add one’s own mem. Select "Next" to continue through the tutorial. Enter text and/or an image (by search or upload) for a personalized mem and save.
  6. Select “Next” to continue through the flashcard deck.
  7. There are questions within the deck that check students’ memory and understanding of the vocabulary, which include multiple choice or short answer questions.
  8. Points and a timer are displayed in the top right.
  9. Students can be provided time in class or assigned homework to continue studying the flashcard deck(s).

Teacher Tips

  • In the dashboard area, students can set learning goals for courses. At "Pinned Courses," select "Keep motivated – set a daily goal" and choose 5, 15, or 45 minutes per day. If students achieve daily goals, they receive extra points on their scoreboards.
  • To use the app the first time, open the app. Tap the screen to start. Swipe through the introductory content. Select "Let’s Grow." Create an account. Select English. Select the top right menu to access Settings (turn on/off audio, autoplay, keyboard marking, and notifications). Select a Course and “Start Learning.” For help with the app, see the FAQs in the top right drop-down menu. If multiple students are using the device and the app, have students log out from the menu.
  • There are numerous free courses, but see Memrise Premium for subscription prices and added features.

More Ways

  • The English Visual Dictionary course has 1046 words in these categories:
  • the human body
  • human organs
  • emotions
  • vegetables
  • fruits/berries/nuts
  • common prepared foods
  • flowers/plants/trees
  • animals
  • insects
  • birds
  • fish and reptiles
  • containers/quantities/money
  • outdoor clothes
  • everyday clothes
  • underwear and sleepwear
  • jewelry and cosmetics
  • describing the weather
  • houses
  • backyard
  • the living room
  • the dining room
  • kitchen
  • kitchen verbs
  • the bedroom
  • the baby’s room
  • the bathroom
  • the utility room
  • a workshop
  • restaurant
  • restaurant verbs
  • medical and dental care
  • treatments and remedies
  • crime and punishment
  • the city
  • the US postal system
  • the public library
  • the armed forces
  • trucks
  • cars
  • bikes
  • There are numerous other free courses for all levels of ESL including idioms, phrasal verbs, grammar, and more.
  • You can create a course with vocabulary words for your class using the "Courses" page, which is linked from your Dashboard.
  • You can also learn about the course creation tools at the Memrise Support pages.
  • On the teacher registration page, there are video tutorials on creating a class, adding students, and creating study materials for students to learn or use in an exciting course. See the Courses page for complete instructions. Important note: You cannot create a course in the app; the app can only be used for study. Courses must be created on the Web site.
  • There is also a Memrise Blog.


  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.