I was doing some web research on lexical journals and came across a Scoop.it page with tons of vocabulary resources. One of them was a link to ProfessorWord, which is a simple and smart tool that can be a tremendous help to English language learners.
ProfessorWord is a bookmarklet which, when clicked while browsing a page, allows you to double click any word and see its definition. In addition, it automatically highlights difficult SAT and ACT words (i.e. academic words) for you. I can see this having great potential for students reading anything English online. For example, it can help them understand Wikipedia entries, news articles, and even forum threads.
ProfessorWord is in beta right now and they are planning to offer several really cool features, including translations and the ability to save words that you look up and review them later.
The only downside to this tool is that it doesn’t work on smartphones or tablets since getting bookmarklets to work on them is a little hacky. Nevertheless, it still seems like a useful tool, one which I’ll definitely share with my students. In fact, they have a simple 1 minute video that explains how to use ProfessorWord, so it makes it much easier to show students.