Using flashcards to review vocabulary

Most people can only learn new pieces of language by repeating and reviewing.

There are lots of ways of doing this. A very popular system uses flashcards.


Flashcards are pieces of paper with a word or phrase on one side and the translation, meaning or an example sentence on the other. People use flashcards to review important vocabulary and to test themselves.

Quizlet is an app and website that allows you to make sets of electronic flashcards and to use sets created by other people. You can type information onto the cards, add pictures and sound.

Let’s look at an example. I used Quizlet to make a set of flashcards with Human Resources vocabulary related to getting a job. (Tip: Use the website to type in all the text.)

Each word has a definition and I also decided to add an example sentence. (Tip: Use the Cambridge Learner’s online dictionary to help write the definitions.)

Quizlet app

Go to the app on your phone or tablet or log in at the website. Go to the study sets made by StratfordTeachers or search for HR vocabulary: applying for a job.

The set only contains 12 cards. It is easier to learn a small set of related words than a large set of words that are not connected to each other.

When you select the list, you have four options. (Tip: The website also has two games.) You can:

  • look at each flashcard to see the word and the definition.
  • learn the words by seeing/hearing the definition and typing in the word.
  • play a game of matching the words to the definitions.
  • test yourself and see the results of your test.

You can use these options again and again until you get a perfect score in the test.

Quizlet matching gameIf you like this way of learning, you can make your own sets of flashcards. Don’t forget:

  • choose useful words you want to learn.
  • choose words that are related to each other.
  • only make small sets of flashcards. 7 to 12 is enough for one set.
  • use an English learner’s dictionary to make the definitions and/or example sentences.


By Barney

If you make any vocabulary sets, tell us and we can share them with other Stratford Teachers learners.

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