ESL Vocabulary Builder

I am always looking for new ways for students to learn ESL vocabulary and today I found yet another way to do so online...for FREE!

But before I share this gem (jewel or wonderful thing) with you I'd like to talk about studying vocabulary (just a little).

Learning vocabulary can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The best way to learn and retain (remember) new words and their meanings is to use them in context and enjoy yourself while doing so.

I also personally think an activity that allows you to use most, if not all, of your senses is vital.

Visit my vocabulary activities glossary for some great new words and some interesting audio!

  • You need to be able to hear the word and how it is pronounced.
  • You need to be able to say the word, maybe repeating it or using it in context.
  • Seeing the word in its written form is always helpful.
  • An activity that encourages you to write would be excellent for your writing skills.

What activity encourages these 4 things?

Check out the interactive window below. Choose from a list of ESL vocabulary on the right in orange.

You will then be able to see and hear the word and it's definition; and you will even get to hear the word used in context. (To incorporate writing practice you can try to write down what is being said in the video.)

This interactive tool, powered by allows you to really interact with the ESL vocabulary words that you wish to learn.  

The only suggestion I have is that Vocabahead should incorporate some more common vocabulary.  

Initially (back in 2008) they seemed to only have very obscure words.  This is no longer the case.  I just updated the tool below to reflect one of my own lists of vocabulary and as you can see there are many very useful words.

Try it now!


After playing with this interactive window I highly recommend that you visit the wordahead website, especially the "Study room".

It is described as providing a "distraction free environment with over 660 Vocabulary Videos and Flash Cards. More vocab videos continuously added."

They weren't kidding!! I thought I would have to pay to enter the study room but it is free too!

It is a larger version of the interactive window found above and the best feature is that you can READ the transcript of each video! (So when you try to write your own "transcript" of each card, you can check it afterwards in the study room. Great bonus!)

Other resources include;

  • The ability to upload your own video to contribute to the site.
  • A forum (which is small but I am sure will grow!)
  • A free word of the day video, delivered right to your Inbox
  • A group on Facebook and a Blog.

I just discovered Vocabahead today and I have to say that I am extremely impressed. What a wonderful and highly useful tool and website.It is sites like these, that make learning English more and more accessible to learners all over the world (especially in these economic times).

I'd like to congratulate "Vocabahead" on adding such quality content to the World Wide Web.

Kudos and congratulations on such a fine website. :)


Improve your ESL vocabulary by reading some stories submitted by visitors like you!

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