Many millennia ago when I was studying Spanish and Japanese, I dutifully recorded new words into my vocabulary notebook and dutifully reviewed them. It was a good system, but I’ve recently discovered a tool that works better in the digital age, and should therefore appeal to my students. It’s a free Chrome plug-in called Lingua.ly. Today I was quite happy to learn that it is now available for Android devices from the Play Store and will soon be available in iOS.
Here’s how it works. If you encounter a word you want to learn as you are reading any website (including emails and Facebook), you simply click on the word and it is automatically saved. There’s a built-in dictionary which provides you with a definition, saving you from having to look up new words yourself. You can also hear how the words are pronounced. All your words get collected in a list that you can review at any time. You can also take quizzes. Pictures get posted next to the words, and I believe these visual cues aid in word retention. And here’s another fun part: your words automatically get turned into flash cards.
Based on the words you collect and the sources they come from, Lingua.ly learns your reading level and interests and finds other current web-based reading content specifically for you. This personalization feature should make this a highly appealing and effective language learning tool.