Using Quizlet for Elementary German

Quizlet "Gravity" Question
The Gravity question type in Quizlet.

For the first time this semester, I am incorporating Quizlet into my Elementary German class, as a mandatory tool to study new vocabulary on a regular basis. Most of you will be familiar with Quizlet, a collaborative online learning platform released in 2007 that offers students different gaming and study modes. These gaming and study modes include “Flash Cards”, “Speller” (students must type a term that is read out loud), “Match” (students have to drag terms on top of their associated definitions), and my very favorite “Gravity” (see above), where students must type a term that goes with the definition in the shape of an asteroid before the asteroid reaches the bottom of the screen. Quizlet thus addresses a number of different language skills and learning styles. It simulates testing conditions, students are familiar with its different study modes from high school – and most importantly: it is fun, and the students love it. It is also free and easily accessible.

I had prepared the vocabulary lists for this semester at the Tempel Summer Institute, including articles and plural forms of the nouns as well as the third person singular of each verb. That way, students are forced to study them as a unit. Every other day, we now have a brief vocab quiz in class. I use the Quizlet “Test” tool for that but print out the tests to ensure that all students are tested on exactly the same vocabulary. So far the use of Quizlet has been hugely successful: students now study the vocab on a regular basis and not just for the chapter exams – which makes a big difference in terms of teaching. Also, almost all of the students do extremely well in these quizzes. I am very happy with this new tool and am definitely going to use it in the future!

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