Updated: Jul 17, 2020
I'm going to be relocating to Italy in August so I have been learning Italian. I started off using Duolingo (which is amazing) but then after a few weeks I wondered if my grasp of the language would improve if I used more than one way to learn.
A popular suggestion on the internet was to learn the 1000 most commonly used Italian words. This made a lot of sense to me so I started searching for apps or websites where I could practise new words and test myself. I found Quizlet and began inputting the words from the list and their english equivalents. I got to word 134/1000 before it occurred to me that someone out there might have done this already.
A quick search revealed that someone had already made the full set of the 1000 words! I have loved using Quizlet - it has really added an extra dimension to my learning and I think it would do the same for children who are learning at home, no matter what the subject matter. It is much more versatile than it appears to be on the surface and is well-suited to many kinds of learner.
What is Quizlet?
"Quizlet is a global learning platform that provides engaging study tools to help people practice and master whatever they’re learning." - Quizlet.com
How can I use Quizlet?
You’ll need to sign up for free to use Quizlet and with your free account you have access to flashcards, practise questions, interactive diagrams and games. (The paid subscription allows extra customisation and offline study.) Quizlet is available on the web and as android and apple apps.
You also have the option of adding your school information for Quizlet to try to suggest appropriate study materials for you. If your teacher has set up a class you can join it once you have signed up. Just enter your teacher’s username into the search bar (see above) and look at users. (Click classes and then request to join class.)
What is a set in Quizlet?
A ‘study set’ is a list of words and definitions or a list of questions and answers. An example of a set might be a list of French words for different foods and their English meanings.
There are millions of sets you can study on any topic. You can find a set with the search bar at the top of the page (in a web browser) or with the magnifying glass icon in the app. (There’s even weirdly a set for learning about Supporting Young Children’s Learning at Home!)
Remember though, if you’re looking for a specific set from your teacher, you’ll need to look on his/her profile for it.
When studying a set, there are several different ‘modes’ to choose from:
Literally swipe or click through digital flashcards with study terms on and then reveal the answer or the translation with a tap to see if you got it right.
Each term or question in a set is shown in multiple choice format first. If you get a term right it then shows up again later in a more difficult question format. Terms go from waiting to be learned to familiar to mastered each time you get them right.
Terms are shown with a box to type your answer in and Quizlet keeps track of how many you get right and wrong.
Listen to the audio of the term and type the spelling. Quizlet displays the definition or translation below. This is great for children learning spellings!
This generates a test for you to complete. Once you complete the test you get a grade and you can view the correct answers. You can choose how many questions you want (good if you have a really big set) and which question formats you’d like included in your test.
This jumbles up a random selection of terms from the set and their corresponding definitions and you have to pair them up to remove them. The aim is to clear the screen as fast as you can.
A game format where asteroids with your terms on fall and you have to type in your answer to stop them from crashing into your planet. They fall faster as you go along.
This allows you to play individually or in a team against other people in real time. Individual mode would be used for children learning remotely. You can invite other players by sharing a link, an access code or a QR code or you can be given access in the same way by your teacher to play live against your classmates.
What makes Quizlet great for home learning?
You can choose whether to have audio play for the question or answer or both as you study. Quizlet supports different languages and so if you’re learning a new language like me, you get to hear the correct pronunciation as well as learning the spelling and the meaning.
Quizlet automatically keeps track of how many mistakes you make with each term or question (see above). This helps you to keep track of which ones might need some extra practise!
You can star the terms with the most mistakes in the list underneath the study/play options or you can star them as you study. You can then choose to study only the words you have starred to get the extra practise you need.
Anyone can make new sets and your sets can be public to any Quizlet user, so even if your teacher is not directing you, you can still use Quizlet to study. Some kids might find it more motivating to study sets that they have made and setting questions for themselves is a good learning exercise in itself.
If you make a very minor mistake Quizlet will show you the stored answer next to your answer so that you can decide if you were wrong or not. (See above.) This is great for longer answers where it doesn’t matter if you get the exact wording as long as key information is there.
Study sets can also include images making them accessible for young children, good for those still developing their reading and writing skills or young second language learners and handy for topics that involve lots of pictures and diagrams.
At the end of the timed games you will see how you did on a leaderboard which will appeal to children's competitiveness. They can also compete with their classmates for the fastest time if studying a set from their teacher!
And finally, Quizlet have an excellent Help Center which includes different instructions for web, android and apple users and really clear, comprehensive advice.
What does your child use Quizlet for and how have they found it? What are the difficulties you have faces in using Quizlet? Let me know here.