This week I wanted to produce something useful for both teachers and students, and after writing about Google Ngrams last week, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss word banks.
Word Banks are a great way to manage new vocabulary, but rather than using paper-based resources, have you tried using Microsoft Excel to keep track of your vocabulary?
Using flashcards, or a box full of index cards is a great resource for the whole class, but it is not as useful for self-study. Writing notes on loose leaf paper or in a notebook is great for self-study but it may become more difficult to keep track of words when there are hundreds of entries in your word bank.
Are there any advantages to keeping a word bank in Excel?
Yes, there are. For example:
- You can use it completely offline. This is useful for classrooms with no, or unreliable connectivity.
- You can keep track of the types of words you are learning. This will help keep your vocabulary balanced.
- It is easy to search through old entries and sort words alphabetically.
- The word bank is easy to distribute. You can copy and paste vocabulary between files, e-mail the file, or store it on a cloud so it can be accessed from multiple devices.
- The file size is small and if data protection is an issue the file can be password protected.
When you have downloaded the file, delete the example words and start adding your own!
There are three sheets in the Excel file: the ‘Word Card’ sheet, the ‘Data’ sheet, and the ‘Statistics’ sheet.
On the ‘Word Card’ you can select a word from the list, and it will automatically display your notes for that word.
The ‘Data’ sheet is where you add your words, their synonyms and antonyms, and your notes.
The ‘Statistics’ sheet is where you can keep track of how many words you have learnt and what type of words they are.
For words that have multiple meanings, it is better to tag them differently. Study is both a noun and a verb, so you may want to enter it as Study-1 and Study-2 or annotate the word in your notes section.
The template will store 10,000 words.
For more than 10,000 words you will have to adjust the Excel formulas. I hope you find the template helpful. This word bank was a new project, if you have any problems, suggestions or comments, then please leave some feedback.
Be aware that there may be some compatibility issues with Excel 2007, and with other spreadsheet software such as OpenOffice Calc. Adjust the formulas and customize the template as needed. If you use Numbers, you should experience no problems. If you would like to know more about the formulas and how the word bank works, then read on.
So, you have decided to learn how the word bank works. This will help you to customize the template and build a more comprehensive word bank.
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