This post was first published on Jan 31st, 2016. has compiled a list of 20 vocabulary exercises to practise or rehearse new words without bilingual translations. The aim is to provide the teacher with a variety of vocabulary practices and to reduce the use of translations in class. complies with the research that promotes learning new vocabulary in context and through various activities, diminishing the use of the students’ first language. Word by word translations can misinform the students of the word’s usage, variations in meaning and connotations. It also gives the pupils with another mother tongue an obvious disadvantage.

Translation has also been eliminated from The Swedish Curriculum (Lgr11) in order to enable monolingual language instruction.

Word Search
Word Find: find the words (in the text) matching the clues
Understanding: Write a text showing you understand the word/s
Draw a picture
Gaps: put the missing words in the sentences
Odd-One-Out: Which word doesn’t belong in the group? Why?
Make a sentence: Make a sentence with given words
Rewrite: Sentences with other words, synonyms or definitions
Naming pictures
Categorizing: Divide the words into categories.
Make questions to get the word as the answer
Explain in English
Matching: Match the phrases that mean the same.
Write a story with the given words
Unscramble: with definitions / clues / gaps
Brainstorm: How many words can you think of?
Learn your own words: Swap lists – explain the words
Communicative Bingo: students describe the words one by one
For examples, check Link to download: Word exercises with examples