Technology tips – vocabulary

Technology tips – vocabulary

Do you have a phone, a laptop or a tablet? There are many ways you can use these tools to help you improve your English.

If there are any websites and apps you recommend, come and tell a Study Support Teacher. 


Some dictionaries are better than others. Most you can find online will also have apps (free and pay options).  You can download an app for most phones.  Compare your app with your friends’ versions to find the best for you. 
English-English dictionaries will help you learn English.  Translation dictionaries may give you many words to choose between.  It is important to check the word you are choosing by looking in at an English-English dictionary definition.  

Your dictionary should:

  • have easy to understand definitions
  • have a pronunciation/sound button
  • have British English and American English options
  • show word class/type (noun, verb, etc.)
  • give an example sentence
  • give synonyms
    • This dictionary is good because it provides learner level definitions.  
    • The pronunciation provides British English (BrE) and American English (NAmE) options. 
    • The website is better than the app.  
    • The app has limited functions e.g. the pronunciation feature is only available in the paid version. 
    • If you are not sure what words to study, the Oxford 3000 will help. This is the 3000 most commonly used words in English.
    • In the dictionary entry, a key symboloxford-3000-key will appear if the word is in the Oxford 3000. 
    • The website dictionary definition has definitions and translations of the word into 26 different languages. It also has links to the meaning for difficult words.  
    • There are pronunciation options for British English (BrE) and American English (NAmE).
    • Words are ranked out of 5 dots (1-5) ..... by most common words.
    • The app is better than the website as words are colour-coded to show the most common words in the top 5000. 


A thesaurus is like a dictionary that tells you synonyms. This is good for trying to increase the variety of vocabulary that you use. Always check that the similar word has the same meaning as the first word by looking in a dictionary. 

Practice with your new vocabulary

    • This website is easy to access by creating a free account using your school email address.
    • You can also download the app for free. If you have the app, any word lists in your account are loaded on your phone to access offline.
    • You can create your own word list to study or use a list already created by someone else. For example, search for Oxford 3000 or NGSL by frequency 501-550. NGSL is the 2800 most common words in English but grouped in lists of 50 words going from most common up (1-2800).
    • You can study words or play games to help practice.
    • There are more options available online (e.g. SPELL is only on the website). 
    • This website can be used without an account to play games with vocabulary.
    • You can create a free account with your school email. 
    • PLAY will give you 4 multiple choice options and extra information about the word when you get it right. 
    • Use the LISTS to search for Oxford 3000 or NGSL lists to make the vocabulary less difficult.
    • This website is great for lower level students (L2-L4). It has language by topic. 
    • Each topic has a pronunciation button pronunciation-icon-learning-chocolate and a picture of the vocabulary.
    • There are also practice activities to check your understanding of the words. 
    • There are options for British English (UK) and American English (US).
    • You can search by CATEGORY or search for a particular word.
    • This website is great for medium level students and higher (L4-L7) to learn nouns.  
    • This is a picture dictionary.
    • Use the THEMES and choose a group of words to study by topic.

Learn more about studying with RMIT Training and RMIT University

Want to learn more about the pathways programs available? RMIT Training offers Academic English or Foundation Studies pathway programs.

13 May 2020


  • Technology
  • Learn English
  • Vocabulary
  • Language
  • Study

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.