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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary Online

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headsets

Activity Description

Use this online picture dictionary, which contains more than 6,000 images with audio pronunciation in 15 themes ranging from astronomy to sports and games, when teaching vocabulary to any level of ESL students.


  1. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  2. Set volume of computer at an adequate volume for using the audio component.
  3. Preview the site to find the vocabulary you plan to teach.


  1. Open the Example Web Site (above) to teach vocabulary related to a house.
  2. Select a Theme in the left tool panel, an image that represents a theme, or enter a word in the text box in the top left tool panel and choose Go to.
  3. When selecting a theme, choose subcategories. The result will be a diagram or image(s).
  4. Select the speaker icon to hear audio pronunciation of words and terms. A pop-up window will appear. Select the speaker icon again. To close the window, choose the red X in the top right corner of the pop-up window or select the words Close Window at the bottom of the pop-up.

Teacher Tips

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  • Numerous realistic images are categorized in the following themes:
    • Astronomy
    • Earth
    • Plants & gardening
    • Animal kingdom
    • Human being
    • Food & kitchen
    • Clothing & articles
    • Arts & architecture
    • Communications
    • Transport & machinery
    • Energy
    • Science
    • Society
    • Sports & games
  • There are also vocabulary-learning games, which include a game of the week and archives of past games.


  • Beginning Literacy
  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced
  • All Levels


Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information

Basic Communication

  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
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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.