What is it?
Quizlet is a free website and application to create flashcards and quizzes to really master the content of study sets. Teachers and students can use this tool. Students can revise either by using sets already available, the ones created by the teacher, or create their own.
Quizlet works on computer, IPad, IPod, IPhone, and Android devices. The website and the application are really similar and almost every function is available on both. Quizlet is a super easy tool to use. If teachers do not find the study set desired, only a few minutes are required to create a personalized one. Once sign in as a teacher or student, almost the only step to create a new study set is to write the words, definitions, or other study content, add pictures if we want to, and there we go! All the different activities and quizzes that can be done from the study set are created automatically. Other strong points about these activities and test is that they are all immediately corrected. The names of activities and quizzes are the following:
Students can choose to see one side of the flashcards at the time, both sides at the same time, only the pictures, or only the words. If they have difficulty with some words, clicking on the star in the corner of the flashcards puts the selected card together. Then, they can revise only these ones. This mode is good for students who have a visual or auditory learning style and those who are used with drills.
The pictures or the definitions appeared one at the time and students have to write the matching vocabulary word. Correct and incorrect answers are counted. Spelling feedback is given to the user.
A word is pronounced and students have to spell the word correctly. If an image was associated with the word, this one is shown at the same time than the pronunciation. If students make a mistake, Quizlet corrects the answer, spell the word each letter at the time and re-read the word. This is a useful activity to help students associate the sounds and the pronunciation with the word, improve their listening and practice their spelling.
This mode is very customizable. Students can decide between written questions, matching questions, multiple choices, true or false, or a mix of them. Teachers can also use this to create paper tests because Quizlet allows to print them.
The ‘‘Scatter’’ mode is a timed matching activity. Students need to match the image or definition with the corresponding word(s). Students in a same group on Quizlet can compete against each other and the scores are classified according to the time needed to complete the activity.
In the ‘‘Race’’ mode, pictures or definitions slide from the left to the right. Students have to quickly write the corresponding words with the correct spelling. The faster they are, the more they get points. Again, students can compete to have the highest score.
The main reasons to recommend Quizlet are that it requires very little preparation time and is extremely easy to use. Members have access to plenty of study sets by writing key words in the search bar. Students like teachers can organize their study sets by creating a folder in their account. Teachers can create a class and control who they want to add in their class as well as who can add new study sets. They can also follow the progress of their students within the site. While doing some research about Quizlet, I discovered on Drew Mcallister’s blog that any activity can be embedded on any content management system or website by using the embedded code. Quizlet can easily be integrated into the teaching practice and it is worth to do so.
User-generated study sets have their advantages and disadvantages. One of them is that unreliable or inappropriate stuff can also be found. Thus, it is very important for students to know how to use it appropriately. While testing Quizlet, I realized that if the creator of a study set wrote the answer in the singular, the answer in the plural will be considered as wrong even if this form could have worked. Another point is that, with the free version, it is not possible to record our own voice with the vocabulary. However, we have access to the Quizlet audio, which pronounce the word for us. Again, with the free version, we cannot upload our own pictures, but we have access to an image bank directly on the website/app. The free version is therefore a little limited, but there is no need to pay for an upgraded version since it is still possible to create very decent activities.
How I would integrate it an ESL class?
In an English a second language class, vocabulary to enable students to communicate in the target language is essential. For that reason, I would use Quizlet to help students learn new vocabulary and revise before tests. I would also use it to create some interactive in-class activities or test with IPads, at the computer lab or with a SmartBoard. In conclusion, when well used, Quizlet is a useful tool to integrate in an ESL class.