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VocabAhead

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://www.vocabahead.com/

Website Example: http://www.vocabahead.com/VocabularyVideos/Videos/TabId/59/VideoId/341/Default.aspx

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headphones, microphones (optional)

Activity Description

Use this Web site's vocabulary videos to teach vocabulary. In the example video, the word "panache" is defined with examples. Each video provides a vocabulary word with its definition, accompanied by an image and audio that pronounces the word, tells an anecdote that contains the word, and is related to the image and synonyms.

Preparation

  1. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school site before using with with students.
  2. Ensure that speaker volume is set at an appropriate level.
  3. Be sure to avoid the advertising sidebar and header.
  4. Create your target vocabulary list for upcoming reading or other activities you will conducting.
  5. Check to see which words are on the video word list and mark them.

How-To

  1. Open the Example Web Site (above).
  2. Under Word Lists, select the letter for the first letter of the target vocabulary word. (Note: if you are using Internet Explorer and do not see the navigation tabs in the orange navigation bar, try using Firefox or Chrome as they both seem to work fine with the site.)
  3. Scroll down to the word. You will see a short definition and the part of speech.
  4. Explain to students that they will watch a very short video that explains the target vocabulary and that they can use this site at home too..
  5. Students can copy the word (if a handout is not provided), its part of speech, and definition.
  6. Select the word and select the play button for the video. Note: the speaking is fast, so students may need to view the video more than once, depending on their listening comprehension abilities.
  7. Have students write down the vocabulary word and its definition and any synonyms provided if they have not already done so.
  8. As a follow up to the video, you can ask students to, verbally or in writing, summarize the story in the video and write a sentence about themselves using the target vocabulary word.

Teacher Tips

  • The vocabulary words on the site are higher level, as the site's purpose is to serve as a vocabulary building tool for students studying for the SAT, ACT, and GRE exams. However, if you are teaching an advanced class that includes a reading activity whose text contains difficult vocabulary, you may want to check the site to find out if the word(s) are contained on the site and use the site's videos to pre-teach the difficult vocabulary as an alternative to dictionary work or providing definitions.
  • Prepare a handout or list of vocabulary words that you want students to learn on which they will take notes. You can have students use the site on their own to discover definitions of target vocabulary or you can watch the videos as a whole-class activity and follow up with questions and discussion to ensure that students grasped the meanings of the words.

More Ways

  • The Teachers tab explains how you can:
    • create personalized word lists with words of your choice to meet the academic needs of your students;
    • share the lists with your students;
    • embed a customized widget into your class Web space;
    • and make vocabulary building fun by assigning vocabulary video projects to your students and uploading their work to the Web site.
  • You may also simply share the site with students for self study.
  • On the Study Room tab, all the videos are listed alphabetically. Students can watch the videos, take quizzes, and practice with flashcards.
  • There is a widget for the Web site which can be embedded on your class Web site, and you or your students can sign up for Word of the Day, an e-mail list in which a vocabulary video is e-mailed each day. There are mobile apps available for the site, as well (select the Mobile Apps tab for information).

Levels

  • Advanced

Standards

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.