An online Resource for EFL Learners

Vocabulary Building Facilities and Tasks


Knowing the Roots

At least half of the words in the English language are derived from Greek and Latin roots. Knowing these roots helps us to grasp the meaning of words before we look them up in the dictionary. It also helps us to see how words are often arranged in families with similar characteristics.

For instance, we know that sophomores are students in their second year of college or high school. What does it mean, though, to be sophomoric? The "sopho" part of the word comes from the same Greek root that gives us philosophy, which we know means "love of knowledge." The "ic" ending is sometimes added to adjectival words in English, but the "more" part of the word comes from the same Greek root that gives us moron. Thus sophomores are people who think they know a lot but really don't know much about anything, and a sophomoric act is typical of a "wise fool," a "smart-ass"!

Let's explore further. Going back to philosophy, we know the "sophy" part is related to knowledge and the "phil" part is related to love (because we know that Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love and that a philodendron loves shady spots). What, then, is philanthropy? "Phil" is still love, and "anthropy" comes from the same Greek root that gives us anthropology, which is the study ("logy," we know, means study of any kind) of anthropos, humankind. So a philanthropist must be someone who loves humans and does something about it—like giving money to find a cure for cancer or to build a Writing Center for the local community college. (And an anthropoid, while we're at it, is an animal that walks like a human being.) Learning the roots of our language can even be fun!


Some common Greek and Latin roots:


Root (source)


English words

aster, astr (G)


astronomy, astrology

audi (L)

to hear

audible, auditorium

bene (L)

good, well

benefit, benevolent

bio (G)


biology, autobiography

dic, dict (L)

to speak

dictionary, dictator

fer (L)

to carry

transfer, referral

fix (L)

to fasten

fix, suffix, affix

geo (G)


geography, geology

graph (G)

to write

graphic, photography

jur, just (L)


jury, justice

log, logue (G)

word, thought,

monolog(ue), astrology, biology, neologism

luc (L)


lucid, translucent

manu (L)


manual, manuscript

meter, metr (G)


metric, thermometer

op, oper (L)


operation, operator

path (G)


pathetic, sympathy, empathy

ped (G)


pediatrics, pedophile

phil (G)


philosophy, Anglophile

phys (G)

body, nature

physical, physics

scrib, script (L)

to write

scribble, manuscript

tele (G)

far off


ter, terr (L)


territory, extraterrestrial

vac (L)


vacant, vacuum, evacuate

verb (L)


verbal, verbose

vid, vis (L)

to see

video, vision, television


Authority for this chart: The Little, Brown Handbook by H. Ramsay Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, & Kay Limburg. 6th ed. HarperCollins: New York. 1995. By permission of Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.

Vocabulary Resources

Visual Thesaurus

An interactive dictionary and thesaurus that leads you to discover the connections between vocabulary words in a visually captivating display. Word maps blossom with meaning, encouraging exploration instead of rote memorization to expand vocabulary.

Vocabulary University

Looking for the previous version of this website? Visit

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and other excellent learner dictionaries are available online, free of charge.

Online Etymological Dictionary

A free and open resource for reliable information on word roots.

Vintage Vocabulary

A site highlighting American words and expressions with intriguing origins.


Designed for ESL learners, UsingEnglish contains an extensive list of English idioms.

Academic Word List (AWL)

Developed by linguistics professor Averil Coxhead, AWL contains frequently occurring English vocabulary words from a broad range of academic texts.

Tools and Tips for Teachers:


A collaboration between NCTE and IRA, ReadWriteThink has a searchable lesson plan archive that features many lessons with a focus on vocabulary learning.

Education Oasis

Graphic organizers for teachers that can help students learn new vocabulary words and concepts.

Literacy Matters

A project from the Education Development Center with valuable resources for enriching vocabulary instruction as a means to improve content literacy.

Cuesta College Guide to Vocabulary

An overview of helpful vocabulary strategies that include interpreting context clues, recognizing word roots, and analyzing common relationships between words.



Grammar Quizzes

Grammar - Easy

Grammar - Medium

Grammar - Difficult

Grammar Quizzes about Places

Vocabulary Quizzes

Vocabulary - Easy

Vocabulary - Easy with Pictures

Vocabulary - Medium

Vocabulary - Difficult

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles - Easy

Crossword Puzzles - Not So Easy











ESL Vocabulary Online Interactive Exercises

Phrasal Verbs - Verbs with a preposition usually with an idiomatic meaning. Some are however easy to figure out like - sit down

Prefixes and Suffixes (affixes) & Word Formation

(Prefixes and suffixes help us form new words in English. We can make new words by adding an affix to change or modify the meaning for ex. weak = weakness). Also we can form words by joining two words for ex. Good + Looking = Good looking. These quizzes will give you more practice.

Course 1 Lessons

Unit  intro – Alphabet & Phonics Resources. 

Aim: Teach letters of the alphabet

Unit   1 – Greetings - Hello

Aim: Teach basic greetings – Hello, Hi, Goodbye.

Unit   2 – What’s your name?

Aim: To teach kids how to say their names.

Unit   3 – How old are you?

Aim: Teach kids how to say their age and  learn numbers 1 to 5.

Unit   4 – Numbers – How many?

Aim: Teach kids how to count from 1 to 10.

Unit   5 A – Colours – What colour is it?

Aim: Teach kids how to describe things through colours.

Unit 5 B - Colours Vocabulary

Aim: Teach colours vocabulary

Unit 5 C - Green Monster Colours Lesson

Aim: Teach colours through a colours songs

Unit   6 – Fruits – I like apples.

Aim: Teach kids names of fruits and how to express likes.

Unit  7 – Body – I have a head.

Aim: Teach kids parts of the body.

Unit  8–  Actions  – I can, I can’t.

Aim: Teach kids how to express ability using simple action verbs.

Course 2 Lessons

Unit  1 – Animals – Farms Animals. 

Aim: Teach students how to express preference by using vocabulary related to farm animals.

Unit   2 – Family Members

Aim: Teach words and expressions used when describing family.

Unit  3 – School bag

Aim: To teach words and expressions related to classroom items.

Unit   4 – Actions – Can and Can’t  

Aim: Teach action verbs

Unit   5 – Shapes & Sizes

Aim: Teach various shapes and adjectives to describe size.

Unit   6 – Demonstrative Pronouns – This/That/These/Those

Aim: Teach  singular and plurals of nouns and demonstrative pronouns.

Unit   7 – Numbers – 10 to 100

Aim: Teach numbers 10 to 100 and pronunciation differences between long and short vowels.

Unit  8 – Toys – Where is it?

Aim: Teach  words and expressions related to toys and to ask where things are.

Unit  9 –  Days of the week and weekly activities

Aim: Teach days of the week and some things we do weekly.

Unit 10 -   Weather – What’s the weather like?

Aim: Teach students how to ask about the weather and describe it.

Unit 11 -   Food – What do you want to eat

Aim: Teach students about the things we eat and express want

Course 3 Lessons

Unit  1 – Pets : Why do you like dogs?

Aim: Teach  names of pets and give a brief description of pets using personality adjectives.

Unit   2a – Time – What time is it?

Aim: Teach students how to tell the time and also how to talk about daily routines.

Unit   2b – Time – What time is it?

Aim: Teach students how to tell the time using quarter to/past/ Half past etc.

Unit   3 – Months & birthdays – When is your birthday?

Aim: Teach students months of the year and how to tell dates using months and ordinal numbers.

Unit   4 – Jobs – What people do.

Aim: To teach kids how to describe jobs using action verbs.

Unit  5  – Actions – What are you doing?

Aim: Students will learn how to describe actions in progress using the present progressive.

Unit   6 – Transport – How do you come to school?

Aim: Teach students different means of transport and talk about going around.

Unit   7 – Clothes – What are you wearing today?

Aim: To learn to describe what someone is wearing.

Unit   8 –  Where is it? – At home

Aim: Teach kids prepositions of place, alongside rooms and things at home.

Unit  9a – Vegetables – How much are the carrots?

Aim: Teach kids vegetable vocabulary and how to go shopping for veggies.

Unit  9b – Vegetables – Extra Vegetable Vocabulary lesson - Cauliflower, broccoli etc.

Aim: Teach students extra vegetable vocabulary.

Unit  10 –  Weather  and clothes  - Put on your sunglasses.

Aim: Teach kids how to talk about clothes relative to the weather.

Unit 11 -  Zoo – What does a panda look like?

Aim: To teach students how to describe zoo animals by what they eat and look like.


British - American English


American English - Exercise 1

American English - Exercise 2

British English - Exercise 1

British English - Exercise 2

British - American English - Exercise 1

British - American English - Exercise 2

British - American English - Exercise 3

British - American English

Cloze Exercises

Christmas in Britain/USA

My family (Reading text)

Navajo Indians

Robin Hood

Confusing words

big, great, high, large or tall

borrow or lend

bring or take

country or land

do, go or play

do, have, make or take

hear or listen

it's or its

life, live or lives

life, live, lives or lived

look, watch or see

make or do - Exercise 1

make or do - Exercise 2

much or many - Exercise 1

much or many - Exercise 2

's - is or has

say or tell

since or for - Exercise 1

since or for - Exercise 2

some or any

there, their or they're - Exercise 1

there, their or they're - Exercise 2

your or you're

Crossword puzzles


Festivals in the UK


Jobs - Puzzle 1

Jobs - Puzzle 2


Numbers 1 - 12

Numbers 10 - 20

Numbers 10 - 90

Numbers mixed

Periodic table - Puzzle 1

Periodic table - Puzzle 2


Signs of the zodiac

Guess the verbs - Puzzle 1

Guess the verbs - Puzzle 2

Guess the verbs - Puzzle 3

Find the pairs

At the sea

Ball games



In the garden

In the house

In the kitchen

In the office

In the zoo 1

In the zoo 2

In the zoo 3


Movements (verbs)

Musical instruments

Parts of the car

Parts of the computer

Sports 1

Sports 2

Things in the household


Find the words

Find the words - Family 1

Find the words - Family 2

Find the words - Family 3

Hangman, Puzzles


Canada (Provinces and territories)





Countries and capitals

Days of the week


English counties/shires

English kings and queens


European capitals

European countries












Numbers 1 - 20

Parts of the body - Puzzle 1

Parts of the body - Puzzle 2



Presidents of the USA


School subjects

Sports - Puzzle 1

Sports - Puzzle 2

States of the USA

State capitals of the USA





Word in language teaching


Animal sounds

Capitals of the Provinces and Territories in Canada

Capitals of the States in Australia and Regions in New Zealand

Compounds - Exercise 1

Compounds - Exercise 2

Geography Great Britain, UK - Exercise 3

Headwords - Exercise 1

Headwords - Exercise 2

Headwords - Exercise 3

Names of sights in London

Parts and their objects

Parts of Speech

Phrases with as ... as ... 1

Phrases with as ... as ... 2

Phrases with as ... as ... 3

Proverbs - Exercise 1

Proverbs - Exercise 2

Proverbs - Exercise 3

Proverbs - Exercise 4

Proverbs - Exercise 5

Proverbs - Exercise 6

Road signs in Britain

Sights in London

Signs of the zodiac

Sports - Exercise 1

Sports - Exercise 2

Sports - Exercise 3

Sports - Exercise 4

State Capitals of the USA - Exercise 1

State Capitals of the USA - Exercise 2

States of the USA - Nicknames 1

States of the USA - Nicknames 2

States of the USA - Nicknames 3

States of the USA - Shapes 1

States of the USA - Shapes 2

Talk at the table

Verbs and nouns - Exercise 1

Verbs and nouns - Exercise 2

Where do animals and people live?

Where does the boss work?

Multiple choice

American English - Exercise 1

American English - Exercise 2

Bodie - Ghost town in California

British English - Exercise 1

British English - Exercise 2

British - American English - Exercise 1

British - American English - Exercise 2

British - American English - Exercise 3


Flags and capitals in the world

Flags in Africa - Exercise 1

Flags in Africa - Exercise 2

Flags in Africa - Exercise 3

Flags in Africa - Exercise 4

Flags in Africa - Exercise 5

Flags in Asia - Exercise 1

Flags in Asia - Exercise 2

Flags in Asia - Exercise 3

Flags in Asia - Exercise 4

Flags in Australia, Pacific islands

Flags in Europe - Exercise 1

Flags in Europe - Exercise 2

Flags in Europe - Exercise 3

Flags in Europe - Exercise 4

Flags in North and Central America - Exercise 1

Flags in North and Central America - Exercise 2

Flags in South America

Geography Great Britain, UK - Exercise 1

Geography Great Britain, UK - Exercise 2

Geography USA - Exercise 1

Geography USA - Exercise 2

Geography USA - Exercise 3

Great Britain


History of the UK

History, Customs and Traditions - United Kingdom


Opposites - Exercise 1

Opposites - Exercise 2

Opposites - Exercise 3

Parts of the United Kingdom

Phrases in conversations

Presidents of the USA


Signs in Britain

Trivia Quiz

TV Stations in the United Kingdom and the USA


World Trade Center


Opposites - Exercise 1

Opposites - Exercise 2

Opposites - Exercise 3

Opposites - randomly selected

Opposites - Test 1

Opposites - Test 2

Opposites - Test 3






Things in the kitchen

Learning with Pictures

Animals - Exercise 1

Animals - Exercise 2






Means of transport

Road signs in Britain

Sights in London

Signs in Britain

Spring flowers

Things in the classroom



Ending -ed

How to pronounce the -o-

Letter -a-

Letter g-

Letter -o-

r- silent or not (British English)

s- sounds

Silent consonants - Exercise 1

Silent consonants - Exercise 2

Silent consonants - Exercise 3

Silent consonants - Exercise 4


u- short or long

Reading Comprehension

Bodie - Ghost town in California

Yosemite National Park

Quiz - English speaking countries

Australia, New Zealand - Facts and figures

UK - Facts and figures

UK, USA, Australia, Canada - Facts and figures

USA - Facts and figures

Quiz - Various

Literature Quiz

Music Quiz

Science Quiz 1

Science Quiz 2

Scrambled letters

Animals in the field

Animals in the forest



Domestic animals

Family - Exercise 1

Family - Exercise 2

Food and drinks - Exercise 1

Food and drinks - Exercise 2

Food and drinks - Exercise 3

Food and drinks - Exercise 4



Weather - Exercise 1

Weather - Exercise 2

Wild Animals

Spelling (Misspelled words in English)

Consonant b - bb

Consonant c - cc

Consonant d - dd

Consonant f - ff

Consonant g - gg

Consonant l - ll

Consonant m - mm

Consonant n - nn

Consonant p - pp

Consonant r - rr

Consonant s - ss

Consonant t - tt

Spelling - Fill-in Exercise 1

Spelling - Fill-in Exercise 2

Spelling - Fill-in Exercise 3

Spelling - Fill-in Exercise 4

USA - Geography - Misspelled names


Synonyms - Exercise 1

Synonyms - Exercise 2

Synonyms - Exercise 3

Word formation (words randomly selected)

Nouns - Adjectives

Nouns - Adjectives

Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

Verbs - Nouns

Verbs - Nouns