Membean in the classroom


Photo taken by Elijah Cho

Learning vocabulary online. In the extra time students have in their classrooms, students are able to have time for perhaps a 10 minute session on Membean. Students are required to work on Membean for a certain amount of time depending on the student's literature teacher.

Elijah Cho, Opinions Section Writer

Arbitrary. Gratification. Impoverished. Many words like these can be found zooming across computer screens in every literature classroom in South Forsyth. After ten or fifteen minutes, students put away their devices and proceed to go about their lessons like a normal class. These words are all vocabulary being taught to South Forsyth students through the online tool known as Membean. The school has is utilizing this website for every student as a way to increase each individual’s comprehension and writing abilities. Through the website’s customized system, students are progressing at their own pace in learning new vocabulary.

“I honestly do like Membean because it helps the teachers know how much vocabulary we know and how we should improve,” said sophomore Haley Watterson.

For each student, Membean calibrates its system to their current level of vocabulary through a survey. Afterward, the website gives each student multiple time-based practices and exercises that efficiently teaches them new words, personalized for each individual student. Membean also lets the student decide on how long each practice round can take, anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, so that the student can decide their own pace of learning. The system makes sure to reinforce what the students learned by repeating certain difficult words and providing different methods of learning, whether it be photos, audio, or video examples. Membean also burns vocabulary into the student’s minds by reviewing words that each student has defined incorrectly and waiting to present new words until the student has mastered older vocabulary.

“Even though we have only been using this incredible program since January, I am pleased with the results I am seeing from Membean. I look forward to seeing even more growth over the next few months,” says English Department Chair Julie Hunt.

So far, South Forsyth is the only school in the county utilizing Membean; and can consider whether or not to use the system again next year. In literature classes, students have been observed of having difficulties in their reading and writing due to not knowing meanings of some key words. Students also have a tendency to not vary in their word choice and continually reuse the same words. Having a limited vocabulary can be a serious setback for many students and writers in South Forsyth. With Membean, teachers are able to check what words students are missing and how many words they are studying each week.

“I think Membean is an effective way for students to learn vocabulary. I believe it has proven to be more engaging for the students than reading novels,” said Lit/Comp teacher Mr. Reynolds.

Although Membean has only been utilized late this year, this new program has proven to be quite efficient compared to other methods of learning new words. Membean encourages each individual student to improve on their vocabulary, no matter how adept of reading or writing they are. This tool continues to show its potency as more students’ writing and speech gradually change and develop.