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Ultimate Vocabulary by eReflect is a vocabulary building software that runs on your PC or Mac.  It allows you to learn at your own pace and customize your approach to learning words.  There are over 180 lists of words to choose from, including grade level lists from 1st to 12th grade.  More than 140,000 words are yours to study.
I have to admit I was very intimidated by Ultimate Vocabulary at first.  However, the program comes with videos that explain the program, so I sat and watched those and felt better. An important point made in the videos is that vocabulary has to be well internalized for us to be able to retrieve it to use it in our every day speech and writing.  I may know a word’s meaning while reading, but do I use that word when I talk?  Ultimate Vocabulary gives you so many opportunities to study and use a word that it is more likely to stay  with you and be more easily retrievable.
 After watching all those videos, I finally sat down to try some of the games, flashcards, quizzes, and the other host of tools to help boost our vocabulary.  Albeit for first grade and up, the word learning activities are not vibrant and eye-catching enough (it is very text-heavy) to grab the attention of my particular six year old.
Once I got over my disappointment that it would not entice Bear for the moment, I looked at the program again with a fresh perspective and realized what a power house of a program Ultimate Vocabulary is for a middle school, high school or college student, or even an adult wanting to expand his or her lexicon.
Once you choose your word list, you can start with the Discover Words activities.  These include flash cards, choosing synonyms for your list words, drag n drop words to their synonyms, getting definitions as clues to guess words.  The flash cards have just a brief definition, but there are also Power Flash cards with multiple definitions and synonyms.  The flash cards scroll by, but you can change the options to increase the time between cards, or even turn off the automation.
Once you know your words, there are games to play in the Fun with Words section.  There is a word search, scrambled words, hangman, and a crossword.  There are even more sections with activities: Quiz Yourself, and Advanced Quizzes.  There is an option to print out a word list with definitions.  You can hear the words’ pronunciation and read the word in sentences.  You can track your progress through various graphs.  I liked the quiz yourself section the best and spent some time there, using the Words for Life Success list (except the screenshot is of a fifth grade word).
There is so much to Ultimate Vocabulary, that I don’t actually think I have discovered everything in my time playing around with the program.  I’ve decided to work through the Words for Life Success list for 5 to 10 minutes each day, just because I like words.
Customer service was fantastic and quick when we encountered some issues.  The issues were resolve within a couple hours of contacting them.
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