3 Thematic-Based Vocabulary Learning Websites

Let’s continue talking about online vocabulary resources! Today, I’d like to introduce three vocabulary websites for beginning-level learners, in which vocabulary items are organized based on themes. The features provided in these websites allow using them in class as well as for learning vocabulary independently.

Learn English Vocabulary

What I particularly like about website is the visual component. Most vocabulary items come with a picture, which makes the learning process more effective, especially for beginning learners. Another helpful feature is “Naturally Speaking”: it demonstrates how to use target vocabulary items in phrases and sentences. In the same section, you can also find a short dialogue on the target topic. Finally, for each theme, the websites offers several assessment exercises including “Word Search,” “Hangman,” crosswords, vocabulary, dictation, and spelling tests. These assessment activities can be particularly helpful for those learners who use this website for their independent study.


This is another thematic-based vocabulary resource that is perfect for beginners. Similar to the previous website, the words here are organized by topics, but in addition to pictures, the vocabulary items come with pronunciation. When learners click on the target picture, they will see the word and hear its pronunciation. For assessment purposes, learners can use “Speaking Challenge” or “Listening Challenge”—both tools give learners the opportunity to quiz themselves on the meaning and practice the pronunciation of the target vocabulary item.

Interactive English Vocabulary Exercises Online

Once again, the vocabulary items are classified based on themes. This website includes a number of short and simple video-based vocabulary lessons. In addition to the single words, some video lessons include phrases or sentences, for example, talking about weather, telling time, etc. To make the learning more fun, the website has a number of vocabulary games. For example, in listening memory games, learners need to match the spelling of the word with its pronunciation. In picture labeling games, learners need to drag the label to the right spot in the picture.

I hope you can recommend these online tools to your beginning learners (or use them in your own classes) to help them acquire thematic vocabulary.



About Elena Shvidko

Elena Shvidko
Elena Shvidko is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate in second language studies from Purdue University and her master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. Her work appears in TESOL Journal, System, Journal on Response to Writing, TESOL interest section newsletters, and TESOL's New Ways series. Her research interests include second language writing, multimodal interaction, interpersonal aspects of language teaching, and teacher professional development.
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3 Responses to 3 Thematic-Based Vocabulary Learning Websites

  1. rhea says:

    Thank You for sharing such a nice article and your knowledge with us. this was really helpful and these tips are going to help me in enhancing my vocabulary!

  2. Great article written by the author. I will implement these techniques in my life.

    The ideas given in the post will enhance my vocabulary to a new level.

  3. Cedrik says:

    But all three websites have semantic lists of vocabulary rather than being thematically organised, or am I missing something?

    Probably best NOT to recommend these websites. Learning new words all so close in meaning is only going to make it more difficult to recall the correct word for each meaning. See Tinkham 1997

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