• 15 December 2018
Tech for Tutors: 5 Apps to Build Vocabulary

Tech for Tutors: 5 Apps to Build Vocabulary

Jun 14, 2018

While classic flashcards can be effective, it’s sometimes nice for students (and their tutors) to have a change of pace when building their vocabulary. Adding a few apps into the mix can keep students interested, engaged, and optimize their time.

From before the time a student even begins school up until the SAT and beyond, the need to continue increasing one’s vocabulary never ends. Writing out definitions, using words in a sentence, and taking practice tests are all tried and true methods of learning new words.

Still, it’s easy for young students to mix up words with similar sounds, spellings, and definitions, while older students can get bored going through extensive lists. Supplementing traditional learning methods with apps that are designed to build vocabulary can heighten a student’s understanding, allowing them to increase the number of words they master in a shorter amount of time.

From games and activities to digital flashcards and quizzes, there’s an app to fit the learning style of virtually every student.

Vocabulary Apps

  1. Endless Alphabet (ages 3+)

This app encourages young learners to select a word from an alphabetical list (found inside a monster’s mouth), listen to the sound aloud, and then put it back together with phonetic sounds, ending with a video showcasing the word’s definition. New words are constantly added, giving students continuous opportunities to increase their vocabulary.

  1. World’s Worst Pet (grades 4+)

Students must get Snargg, a terrible pet, home by completing vocabulary challenges. Tutors and students can choose a level and a set of words, making it ideal for a range of ages. Aligned with Common Core, students can learn definitions, practice effectively using vocabulary words in complete sentences, and identify synonyms and antonyms. After mastering a set, students and tutors can look over suggested writing prompts and incorporate newly learned vocabulary for additional learning.

  1. Vocab Genius (grades 7+)

If vocabulary games aren’t your thing or your student is a bit older, try out this more traditional learning app. Vocab Genius repeats flashcards in a scientifically optimized pattern to help students absorb information as efficiently and effectively as possible. The app features over 800 words along with their definitions, synonyms, and example of the word in a sentence, as well as flashcards for common prefixes, suffixes, and roots.

  1. Knowji Vocab (grades 7+)

Ideal for older students who need work on vocabulary for upcoming standardized tests, Knowji Vocab has a selection of 1600 relevant words for students in grades 7-10, as well as those studying for the ACT, SAT, and GRE. For each word there is an accompanying definition, example in a sentence, illustration, and additional information. Tutors and students can set goals, skip mastered words, and take quizzes all within the app.

  1. Vocab Spelling City (grades K-12)

This website/app duo allows users to create their own custom word lists, or access those that have been shared by other users, making it a great resource for tutors and teachers to collaborate. With opportunities to show students how to spell the words, an audio component for audible learners, and an abundance of learning games and activities, this program is designed to fit the needs of students at any level, from struggling to advanced.


While games and activities are sure to engage students, even traditional learning methods can appear more exciting when accessed through a more creative medium. With so many apps available, it’s certain that tutors can find one that will get their student excited and ready to learn, no matter their age or skill level.