Features Vocab Videos!

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An Interview with Scott Farber: Word Learning.

Written By: Michael F. Shaughnessy Senior Columnist

1)      I understand that A-List Education has introduced a new product, Vocab Videos. What is this all about?

Vocab Videos ( is an entertaining and effective learning system that brings vocabulary to life. Leveraging humor, pop culture and engaging characters, Vocab Videos help increase student understanding and retention of vocabulary words through verbal, auditory and visual cues. Vocab Videos employ proven educational methodologies to help students learn more than 500 frequently tested words found in high school level English classes and on college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT.

2)      How long are these videos and how many are there?

The videos tend to run 20 seconds to no more than a minute and currently there are over 500 words available on the website, with plans to develop many more over the coming year.  We wanted to make them short enough to keep the focus on illustrating the word itself, but the individual videos also come together to form “episodes” with extended plot lines and featured characters.

3)      I hear that Vocab Videos engages students by using popular television shows.  What are some of these shows?  Are you using the A- TEAM?

Getting students to engage with vocabulary content isn’t always easy.  We realized that an innovative method had to connect the Web 2.0 world and pop culture elements high school students see every day.  The VV episodes parody popular shows including Gossip Girl, Lost, 24 and the Office, as well as horror movies and Will Ferrell’s off beat sports movies.  As yet we have no videos using the A-Team, but the possibilities are endless.

4)      Are they in DVD or VHS format?

Vocab Videos are available through a Web-based service with monthly subscriptions of $9.99 or a twelve-month subscription for $49.99. Subscribers have unlimited access to content on the Vocab Videos website, including quizzes, review materials and video clips.

DVDs of Vocab Videos will soon be available on and in retail stores. There are no VHS versions.

5)       You are using a basic premise that I believe the Dolch lists espoused to help them learn  the most frequently found vocabulary words- was this your intention?

We found that many of our students struggled to learn words using traditional flashcards or by simply looking up new words in a dictionary.  We decided to develop a system that would make it easier and more enjoyable for students to expand their vocabulary by engaging them with verbal, auditory and visual cues.

Similar to the Dolch methodology, we recognized that many students are visual learners but we wanted to go a step further and introduce the video component. Vocab Videos provides students with a real-world illustration of the meaning of the word and a visual memory that they connect to that word. Furthermore, we found that incorporating humor into the videos is a highly effective technique for connecting students to the content and promoting retention.

6)   These words seem to be found in advanced high school English classes and on college admissions tests.  How did you come about choosing them?

Recognizing the difficulty many students have learning new words through conventional means, A-List created Vocab Videos after intense analysis and research. We reviewed dozens of standardized exams and ran word frequency queries through a database.  In addition our experience working with thousands of students (as well as individual teachers and school districts) gives us a unique insight.  This teaching system employs proven educational methodologies and helps connect high school students with the content and expand their vocabulary, while entertaining them along the way.

7)      How has this “A-List Education” made studying easier and more enjoyable?

A-List is dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals and successfully prepare for undergraduate and graduate studies. A-List’s services include standardized test preparation, academic tutoring and college admissions advising. Through private tutoring, classroom based programs and online services, such as Vocab Videos ( and College Essay Organizer (, A-List has helped thousands of students through its unique and highly effective programs and services. Our goal has always been to really make learning more fun while leveraging technology and creativity to empower students and teachers.

8)      Do you have a web site where I can learn more? Or an 800 number?

You can reach A-List education at and Vocab Videos at The number is: 646.216.9187


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