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Wordsmyth: Audio Glossary Maker

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

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

Activity Description

Use Wordsymth's Glossary Maker to create a glossary of vocabulary words that will appear in class readings, lectures, spelling, or vocabulary lists. The glossary is customizable and has audio so that students can hear the pronunciation of words on the list. In the sample provided (Example Web Site (above), the glossary is for the essay My American Life , on the Web site for immigrants, Life in the USA.


  1. Make sure that the site and any glossary activity you share via e-mail or posting on a class Web site are not blocked at your school before using it or having students use it.
  2. Decide how you will share the glossary with students - by e-mail, providing the Web address (URL), or posting the link to a class Web site.
  3. Set speaker settings to a reasonable volume.


To create a glossary, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a list of words that are new and unfamiliar to your students that will appear in an upcoming reading, vocabulary lesson, or other activity. Note that with a free account, each glossary entry can contain a maximum of 12 words.
  2. Go to Wordsmyth  and create an account by selecting Sign Up in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Fill out the form and choose Register. (Registration requires an e-mail address and you will get an activation code in your e-mail, so be sure you have access to your e-mail when setting up an account.)
  4. Once your account is activated, select Glossary Maker from the navigation buttons across the top of the page..
  5. Choose a dictionary level to use for your glossary (Advanced, Intermediate, or Beginner’s).
  6. Type the words for your glossary in the space below. Separate each keyword with a space. To list two words together, contain them in quotation marks (example: "test tube").
  7. Provide a glossary title (optional) and select whether or not to include the date with the title.
  8. Choose which fields to display: Concise Dictionary (definition, pronunciation, part of speech), Concise Thesaurus (definition, synonyms, pronunciation, part of speech), or Custom Glossary (if you select this option, you can check to include the any or all of the following: syllable, pronunciation, inflection, definition, example, synonym, antonym, related word, phrase, derivation).
  9. Select the Next button.
  10. Select the definitions you want to use. You can select the Customize link (next to individual definitions) if you want to change or annotate definitions. If you chose the Custom Glossary and selected to include Example, you can also select Add Example if you would like to add one of your own.
  11. Select Next.
  12. You may print or save your glossary. When the glossary is saved, the Web address (URL) can be e-mailed or posted on a class Web site. Students can navigate to the URL, study the list, select the speaker icons to hear pronunciations, and print the glossary themselves.

Teacher Tips

  • Once you create an account, you can edit or delete glossaries by logging in to your account and selecting the activity from My Activities.
  • The site contains some advertising, but it is largely contained on the screens you use to create the glossary, not the screens that will show your glossary words to students, so hopefully it will not be much of a problem.

More Ways

  • The site has many other resources:
    • Beginning, intermediate, and advanced dictionaries (see the left sidebar)
    • Reverse Search - search within the full text of dictionary entries for words, word parts, and phrases (see the Search Tools menu)
    • Illustrated / Children’s Dictionary (under Dictionaries)
    • Quiz Makers (fill-in, matching, multiple choice).


  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


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.