Words Slipping Away: How Not to Forget Vocabulary If You Are an ESL Teacher

Words Slipping Away: How Not to Forget Vocabulary If You Are an ESL Teacher

How many words do you actually know?

Remember the time when you finished learning English and started teaching it. The word-stock then seemed to remain stable, without major gains or losses.

However, is it still the same?

Unfortunately, after we start our teaching practice, we mostly deal only with a certain amount of words within our students’ level. Well, sometimes it gets a little bit wider if we consider studying notes in teacher books and surfing the net for authentic language sources.

(The question is how often that happens.)

Let’s get real…

…and admit that teachers are woefully short of time for regular practice and brush-up in their classical sense. That means we need to evolve and gain superpowers so we can bend time… or we could help ourselves with a couple of learning tools that are available today.


A basic, free Quizlet student account provides access to all study tools on the website. The app uses several study modes, e.g. spaced repetition concepts to focus on longer-term retention. Apart from enriching your own word-stock, you may also create study sets for your students. However, the teacher’s tools require a paid subscription after a one-month trial.


         easy to use;

         combines various learning methods.


         many features require a subscription;

         you need to spend enough time to find or create sets that you are going to learn.


The app finds gaps in your vocabulary and provides you with the most frequently used English words you don’t know yet. For each word, a quote serves as an example of how to use it in speech. It focuses on one word at a time and doesn’t require much time, so it’s quite nice for killing time when commuting etc.


         simple and intuitive;

         start practising right away after a quick test.


         no productive practice, you only drag cards back and forth;

         no topics or themes – the words are divided in ranges by their statistical frequency of use in speech.

Now, there are dozens, if not thousands, other useful apps that deserve your attention. The thing is, how long will they keep you focused? It is too easy to forget about them by simply swiping the notification on your phone screen.

So, how can you make real progress?

Imagine a diverse and complex training that is available at a convenient time and in a comfortable atmosphere. The one where you can practice your English with your colleagues and a foreign tutor. The one that doesn’t require leaving home at all. Skyteachh School is ready to make your wish come true with our new online CPD course “Improving language proficiency for ESL teachers”.

How long does it take?

The training is 4.5 months long and the lessons are twice a week – easy to merge with a full-time job.

I have enough homework exercises to check. How is it that I’m going to do my own homework, too?

Our experts considered that you might be quite overwhelmed with your current workload. You don’t need to spend hours drilling wordlists – the tasks are submitted online and some of them are checked automatically. Choose any convenient time and place to revise what you have learned: all the contents are completely available to you during the course. You can use the platform whenever you like.

I’m a skilled ESL teacher already, do I really need to learn more?

In the eyes of the students, their teachers always appear as some kind of walking and breathing dictionaries. Language proficiency is something effortless – at least this is how it looks for them. Alas, active vocabulary requires regular revision and/or practice; otherwise, words just slip your mind when you need them the most.

I’m not sure if the course suits my level.

Then you can check it out by visiting a single one-hour lesson. You will meet our qualified tutors, see the methods they use, try out our platform and figure how the training will help you.

What if my students find out that I’m still learning myself? Wouldn’t it undermine my authority?

Revealing the fact that even you need to enrich your vocabulary from time to time may actually encourage your students. Clearly, every speaker should brush up their word-stock regardless of their level. Maybe if you share your progress with the students, it will help you build trust and create a positive image to strive for.

Is there any certificate given for attending the course?

Sure! After finishing our training program, you receive the state-recognized certificate. It will ensure your employer that your language skills are improved, and will also look nice in your portfolio. 🙂

Don’t lose your time and fluency – sign up and practise smarter!

Анна Колодинская

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