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Academic Vocabulary Development

  • Teaching Academic Vocabulary: Click here to see a video introduction.
    • This website is a great resource for the teaching and studying of academic vocabulary. Students and teachers can copy and paste materials from the authentic material sites below and this site's AWL (Academic Word List) highlighter will highlight the words in the readings from the Academic Word List. Students can copy those same readings into the AWL gapmaker and the site will produce a gap exercise that can help students test how well they understand how the words fit into a particular website. This site also gives helpful directions for both students and teachers on how to effectively use the resources it contains.
  • Using English for Academic Purposes
    • This website offers readings and gap exercises which introduce all the words of the Academic Word List. While it does offer a thorough introduction to the words of the Academic Word List, many of the readings it uses include technical vocabulary in addition to the AWL vocabulary. Because this technical vocabulary is not defined or explained, students may have difficulty in mastering the academic vocabulary introduced in certain readings because the technical vocabulary makes it difficult or impossible for them to understand the context. Nevertheless, the site is a comprehensive introduction to the AWL.

Authentic Materials

    • Introduction to the site: Textbook publishers are often more concerned about making a profit than they are about whether their materials are most beneficial to students' education. This site offers links to many online textbooks and other educational materials which have been offered by their copyright owners for free online use. Especially noteworthy among the large variety of materials this site has to offer are its many books in the science and math fields
    • This fantastic website has abundant materials on almost every subject under the sun. Begun in 1998 by North Carolina State University professor, Marshall Brain, the site's illustrated articles and video explanations on thousands of subjects are presented in a clear, easily understandable way. In addition to the "How Stuff Works" materials, the site offers a built-in encyclopedia on topics such as geography, history, the humanities, industry and technology, and the sciences and social sciences.
    • This is a site containing information and links to information on almost any subject you can imagine. 600 experts make up the editorial staff of, a site under the ownership of The New York Times. The topics covered range from business and finance, cities and towns, education, shopping, style, health, and so much more. While it will probably take work to find good readings for developing academic vocabulary on this site, it does offer an introduction to the many aspects of 21st century American culture and interests.