Vocabulary quiz

Read. Know. Learn. Go.

Knowble introduction from Knowble Articles on Vimeo.

Knowble is a free site that gives you news articles based on your vocabulary level and interests. You do need to sign up with an e-mail address.

First, you’ll take a vocabulary test, and the site gauges your level. Then, it gives you a variety of short news articles to choose from. Read them and take a quick vocab/comprehension test:

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As you do more articles, you add to your list of “learned” vocabulary.

The site is not limited to English learning. At this time, German, Spanish and Dutch are also available. And you can change your “support language” in the Preferences section. This will determine the language used when you hover over the blue vocabulary words. If you change the support language to Japanese, it will give you a Japanese translation of the word. I also tried changing it to English and…

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Most Common Verbs Every Beginner English Learner Should Know

Lifestyle Filipino by Chris Delacruz

Source: Google Images Source: Google Images

The VERB, or action word, is the most important part of the sentence?  Why?  The verb gives life, motion, and color to the subject.  It gives the subject meaning and movement.  Otherwise, the subject just sits there and does nothing.  Here are some verbs that every beginner English language learner should know.

Go down the list and check to see if you already know how to use some of them.  If not, it’s time to practice.  Feel free also to add other “verbs for beginners” in the comment section so that I can update this list.  Cheers!

  1. accept
  2. account
  3. achieve
  4. act
  5. add
  6. admit
  7. affect
  8. afford
  9. agree
  10. aim
  11. allow
  12. answer
  13. appear
  14. apply
  15. approve
  16. argue
  17. arrange
  18. arrive
  19. ask
  20. attack
  21. avoid
  22. base
  23. be
  24. beat
  25. become
  26. begin
  27. believe
  28. belong
  29. borrow
  30. break
  31. bring
  32. build
  33. burn
  34. buy
  35. call
  36. can
  37. care
  38. carry
  39. catch
  40. cause
  41. change
  42. charge
  43. check
  44. choose
  45. claim
  46. clean
  47. clear
  48. climb
  49. close
  50. collect

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Quite Interesting


Read. Know. Learn. Go.

QI: Quite Interesting is a website with many, many things to discover. It’s a TV show, a radio show, a whole universe. But one place that’s fun to start with is their Research Infocloud.

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Some quite interesting things you’ll be able to find out about:


Japanese food

Alice in Wonderland


Valentine’s Day

There’s a search box, and you can click on the cloud to refresh your choices or click on “Lucky Dip” to find a random page:

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Slight or sleight?

LibroEditing proofreading, editing, transcription, localisation

This one was suggested by Matthew, Mr Libro. I’ve got to the point where I can’t remember whether I’ve covered a particular confusing word pair or not (see the link at the bottom of this post for the index to them all) but it is indeed a new one …

Slight is an adjective meaning not very sturdy or strong, or inconsiderable, small: “The rider was so slight that they feared he could not control the larger horse”; “There is a slight problem with your use of their and there, have a look at Liz’s Troublesome Pairs posts”. A slight (noun) is a kind of insult which is based around not showing someone the appropriate level of respect or attention: “He never bothered to read her blog posts, and she felt this slight keenly”.

Sleight is only actually ever found as part of the phrase ‘sleight of hand‘…

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A Bitter Taste of Vocabulary!


Learning new vocabulary can be a bit tricky when you’ve had so much other English-y stuff drummed into you all week. Some of it just falls out. The way to aid students with information retention is by making the lessons more personalised – allowing the students to make a connection between the new vocab and a personal feeling, memory or in this case, taste! Our words du jour were chewy, fizzy, bitter, sweet, ripe, bland, chewy, savoury/salty and ripe. I elicited as much as I could and offered examples during class, and we completed a gap fill exercise. The next day I prepared the classroom for an impromptu revision session on what they had (hopefully) learnt. It looked a little something like this:
My suitably concerned students piled into the classroom with trepidation as I revealed they would be blindfolded and led into class one by one, sample some drink…

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Me too!

A Hive of Activities

This is a great speaking activity that can be used as a warmer or as a short speaking activity to practise a grammar point or  some vocabulary or anything.  I got it from colleague in a sharing session after the ACEIA conference, where it was one of the activities presented by Teresa Bestwick (see her great blog here).

Here’s how it goes:

  • Put the students in pairs and tell them that they are going to do a speaking activity for 4 minutes.
  • Ask them to choose which one of the pair will speak first.
  • Explain that this person will speak about one of the questions. Their partner will listen carefully but not say anything until they can say “Me too!” in response to something that has been said. Then they take over talking until the first person can interrupt with “Me too!” and take over, and so on. The…

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