Research shows that visuals help language learners with comprehension and fluency. This is why it is important to have picture dictionaries available for students to quickly reference. If you can’t afford physical picture dictionaries and have a few devices available, then your students can quickly look up words in free online visual dictionaries. Below is a list of online dictionaries that are often animated and interactive. The list includes descriptions to help you choose the best ones to use with your group of young learners. For more ideas on how to help learners build vocabulary, check out our webinar recording, Visualize Vocabulary: From Remembering to Comprehension.
To learn more about integrating technology to support English language learners, attend our free bimonthly Friday webinars.
Free Online Visual Dictionaries for Children and Adolescents
- Kid’s Wordsmyth is an online dictionary for children that has amazing features, including a widget to look up any word on any page. WILD is their free illustrated dictionary for children, which shows colorful animated images and sounds out the word. There are Spanish and Chinese versions.
- Vidtionary is a video dictionary for adolescents to adults. The web site has a collection of short videos that show different example scenes illustrating a word’s meaning.
- Little Explorers is a children’s visual dictionary provided by Enchanted Learning.
- ESOL Help is a very basic picture dictionary that just displays the word and has clip art to illustrate the word.
- Opdome features 20 sets of vocabulary available in English, Spanish and Chinese.
- A Math’s Dictionary for Kids by Jenny Eather features two different online visual dictionaries. The original A Maths Dictionary for Kids is animated and interactive with over 630 common mathematical terms in simple language with definitions, examples, activities, practice and calculators. A Maths Dictionary for Kids Quick Reference is a device friendly html version with definitions and detailed examples for over 950 words.
- The Math is Fun Visual Dictionary illustrates several math terms and instruments and includes simple definitions. Some of the entries are interactive where students get to play with the instrument virtually.
- NASA’s Picture Dictionary is for students in grades 3rd to 8th and visually teaches learners about space and NASA.
Live TESOL webinars are presented every other Friday at 4 PM Eastern with Shelly Terrell. TESOL Lectures are open to the public, so feel free to invite a friend. To enter a TESOL Webinar, click here https://americantesol.adobeconnect.com/terrell/. Next, click Enter as a Guest, type your name, and click Enter Room.