There are many possibilities for using word clouds in language courses. I've listed around 35 of them here with a few hints on what to do.- preview a presentation or a text
- preview the current day’s lesson plan
- predict the content of a text e.g. topics, style, purpose, intended audience
- predict the content of a novel e.g. plot lines, characters, genre or themes as group work
- complete reading comprehension questions just from a word cloud, then comparing answers after reading the actual text
- summarise a presentation
- turn a text into a picture (essay, report, paragraph, article, etc.)
- identify the key words in a text based on their size in the word cloud
- expanding vocabulary (definitions, synonyms, antonyms, or brainstorm words associated with a new one, match parts of collocations)
- student-created flashcards of essential words (review, circle unknown, learn)
- discussion starter (student chooses one word from cloud to speak about)
- add to printed or online course materials
- use as a background for slides or online materials
- compare student responses (make one cloud, or separate ones to compare)
- explore a topic (students add own ideas to a question stimulus & build a cloud)
- take a quick class poll or track a poll over time (multiple clouds side-by-side)
- introduce new course, syllabus or module (provides an overview of content)
- introduce course objectives
- student ice-breaker e.g. all input hobbies, interests, future aspirations, family, pets, favourite films or books, country of origin, etc.
- highlight the main areas to focus on from rubrics to gain the best grades
- highlight examples of misspelled or overused words in student writing by inputting their own work
- illustrate contrasting ideas (show two clouds side-by-side), such as opposing arguments in essays or articles
- research texts from multiple sources then combine them into a cloud
- ‘find the words’ game (e.g. mix academic & non-academic in a cloud & identify)
- ‘guess the topic’ game, or combine two topics in one cloud and students separate them out
- ‘grammar game’ e.g. students classify words from a cloud into different parts of speech or different tenses
- ‘sentence structure’ game e.g. input a complex sentence or short series of sentences into a word cloud, and have students reconstruct them in the correct word order
- ‘memory game’ e.g. show a word cloud, take it off the screen, students write as many words as they can recall
- identify parts of speech (students highlight or underline in different colours)
- visual analysis of qualitative data (e.g. convert a table to a picture)
- curriculum mapping across multiple subjects
- checking the balance between course content and course objectives
Here is a multiple-lesson design thanks to http://tborash.posterous.com/designing-lessons-using-wordle
While not a flawless design, these six steps seemed paramount in increasing students' desire to learn:
- Students pre-assessing their own knowledge and understanding - "What does _insert topic here_ mean to me?"
- Students using Wordle to analyze the pre-assessment responses
- Students "doing stuff" to experience _insert topic here_ in real life - "What happens when I do this?" (this is the learning phase)
- Students responding to what they now know and understand - "What does _insert topic here_ mean to me today?"
- Students comparing the Wordle of their current thinking to that of their pre-assessment responses
- Students asking the question, "Given what I first thought, and what I now think, what do I think of next?"
Without the use of Wordle, we lose out on a central piece of this lesson design puzzle.
An excellent article by Simon Thomas on using word clouds in language activities can be found at: http://efl-resource.com/language-activities-with-wordle-and-word-clouds-2/
. This includes links to several other resources as well.Benefits:
- assists with motivation
- assists with thinking skills
- enlivens course content in all macro-skills
- appeals to visual learners
Places to Try: http://abcya.com/word_clouds.htm
(for young learners) http://www.literature-map.com/
(more for readers of English lit.) http://www.imagechef.com/ic/word_mosaic/
(has iOS & Android apps.) http://quintura.com/
(has iOS app.) http://tagcrowd.com/ http://taggalaxy.com/ http://tagul.com/
(each tag is linkable with a URL for navigation) http://www.tagxedo.com/ http://www.visualthesaurus.com/vocabgrabber/
(also has visual thesaurus!) http://worditout.com/ http://www.wordle.net/
(very easy to use, MOST favoured by teachers) http://wordsift.com/
(from Stanford University ELL)
The word cloud illustrated above was prepared by myself using Wordle.
I'm pleased to announce a new page on 'Teacher Greg's Education Home'.
The motivation for it came from my desire to engage the many colleagues with whom I work, in a conversation about ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course of Study) and EAP (English for Academic Purposes) programs and how they operate at my institution. Like many workplaces, the pressures of just keeping on top of the teaching have meant that opportunities for genuine discussion, sharing and reflection have become rare, formal meetings have become ineffectual, and inefficiencies have naturally arisen as a result.
'TESOL forums' will be a chance to recover lost ground, to re-ignite the discussion, and to move forward in more practical ways. It will take some effort to 'sell' the idea and overcome the hesitation of others, but I'm taking the first steps while hoping this will lead them to continue the conversation.
Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history. -Joan Wallach Scott
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. -Maria Robinson
If you are looking for support in working with primary-aged students (or even lower secondary) of ESL or EFL, including ways of using "Smartboards", here's a great start to get you going.
I've now compiled the "best of" links for these two categories, and am pleased to offer them to you.
The first is a collection of the best 65 sites for elementary ESL/EFL students and teachers. Under EFL/ESL elementary resources I've listed the best 65 sites for: video, stories, reading, e-books, music & song, activities, games, writing, lesson plans, vocabulary, spelling, dictionaries, quizzes & puzzles, speaking & pronunciation, phonics & ABCs, community sharing, rhymes, colouring, animation & cartoons, test writing, printables, flashcards, presentations, screen-casting, brainstorming, audio & sounds, collaboration, stickies, podcasts, posters, search tools and a complete LMS (learning management system). Many are also suited to interactive whiteboards.
The second is a collection of the best 48 sites for learning how to use interactive white boards, such as Smartboard, and resources to use in class with elementary ESL/EFL students. Under IWB/Smartboard resources I've listed the best 48 sites for: training & tutorials in mastering smartboards, games, lesson plans, presentations, activities, spelling, reading, comics, worksheets, phonics and writing. The training sites have videos that will step you through everything you need to know to use IWB's effectively in class.These are real time-savers and are ones I've used. Many are also recommended by leading educationists in the field.
If you click on the link below it will take you to ALL of my bookmarks, images, videos and documents at Zootool. You can search for items using keywords. Click on the resulting images to see more details of the site and tags for each. Click on the title to go to the page.
With over 1,900 items and 900 tags you will find lots for teaching & learning English as well as many other general interest categories.
The link is: http://zootool.com/user/gregqbear/
Principled Possibilities - Ideas for Teaching is a unique publication representing the summation of four years of graduate study, and my own experiences, discoveries, experiments and successes over eight years of teaching throughout Asia and the Pacific. Uniquely the book includes: - a wide selection of academic papers, conference and training presentations, and curriculum and planning documents, - links to websites and other resources for exploring the topics further and contacting the author, - ideas ranging from working with absolute young beginners to adult and upper-intermediate level students, - discussions of current challenges and controversies in teaching, - approaches to online and computer-assisted learning, and - suggestions in the field of English language teaching.
Here is the full introduction to give you some more details:My transition from office work to education was a late one, and came about more by accident than design.
Having successfully trained as a classical musician, I realised that performance opportunities would be limited at my age, so it seemed that music education would be the most logical progression. Having successfully trained as a teacher, I discovered that music teaching opportunities would also be scarce, apart from those occasionally arising in outback Australia.
At the suggestion of a friend I decided to dip my toes into the field of English language teaching by working at a winter camp in Shanghai, China. It was the joy of that experience which sparked my desire to work and travel further.
Several training courses later I began my new career, at first in Australia with children and later with adults from Europe, South America and Asia. From there I have experienced life in the Sultanate of Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan, where I am presently located.
While there is much material available in the field of EFL (English as a Foreign Language), I feel that my own experiences, discoveries, experiments, successes and failures
over the last eight years in a variety of settings, with children to adults, and with absolute beginners to upper-intermediate students, are worth sharing with others.
The present book, therefore, includes academic papers, conference and training presentations, and curriculum and planning papers to assist fellow educators. Many of these were developed in the context of formal tertiary training in Queensland, Australia, and refer to issues and cases from that location. Nevertheless, they are equally relevant in other English-speaking contexts.
There are also links to my Internet-based materials and websites where electronic versions
of many resources included here may be found for the reader’s convenience and further exploration.
I don’t look on this publication as the final authority on all matters of English language teaching, but as part of the ongoing professional support and discussion so vital to our dynamically evolving and collaborative field. This is why I encourage readers to continue the conversation with me and others using the links given throughout.
I wish to conclude this introduction by expressing my appreciation to fellow teachers, colleagues, university staff, and members of my personal learning network who have either directly or indirectly assisted in formulating my ideas and refining my approaches to teaching. Their originality, contributions, and occasional criticism, are all deeply valued.
How can you get this book? Click on the Lulu link on my home page, or go directly here
For those who don't yet "follow" me on Twitter @gregqbear, here are my tweets and re-tweets related to Education between 8th July and today. There are heaps of resources and ideas among them - please check out the links!
- New Blog Post Reasons to Ditch the Pen - Today I sent a comment in response to an excellent article about reducing o... http://ht.ly/18RVxf 8:33 AM Sep 5th via HootSuite
- 12 Reasons to Ditch the Pen - My comments at http://ht.ly/2zrnu I'm challenging myself to digitise my #elt resources. CAN YOU DO IT TOO? 2:26 PM Sep 4th via HootSuite
- I like Dropbox. It's got moxie. http://db.tt/GmP0iJR 7:07 PM Sep 3rd via Dropbox
- New Blog Post Young Learner English Resources - I posted a Tweet today to share 31 websites suitable for young learn... http://ht.ly/18ObbW 9:12 AM Sep 1st via HootSuite
- RT @SimpleCEO: 101 Free #edtech tools for ANY classroom, tech or not: http://ht.ly/2wLdA Registration reqd to download. 11:03 PM Aug 30th via HootSuite
- RT @musictechie: Edutecher website and MUST have app. One of the best edu apps around. Adam rocks! http://www.edutecher.net/index.php 11:29 PM Aug 29th via HootSuite
- kylepace Sweet Sites for elem, middle, and high school teachers and students...http://bit.ly/9vIRse from @findingdulcinea #edtech 6:17 AM Aug 29th via TweetDeck Retweeted by you and 5 others
- Check out eflclassroom.ning.com by visiting http://feedjit.com/o/39LB/ and get a link to your blog or profile. 11:18 AM Aug 28th via Feedjit
- The Differentiated Classroom.pdf http://ht.ly/2w2W7 An excellent e-book by Tomlinson with many pract. ideas for multi-level classes. #elt 10:57 AM Aug 28th via HootSuite
- Free Technology for Teachers: Read Print - 8,000+ Free Books & Essays Online http://bit.ly/bjgPw9 9:57 PM Aug 27th via The Twt Times
- ChrisCattaneoCheck this video out -- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle http://t.co/wLCAs2A via @youtube 7:03 PM Aug 27th via Tweet Button Retweeted by you and 1 other
- YouTube - simonscat's Channel http://ht.ly/2sNJs 8 Funny short videos - reminds me of some creatures I know. 9:00 PM Aug 21st via HootSuite
- The Twitter Greg Quinlivan Daily http://bit.ly/a3YP29 for Monday 16th August out now! Get your copy here. 9:13 PM Aug 16th via TweetMeme
- RT @TheConsultantsE: Gr8 list! Online Vocabulary Games http://bit.ly/brB9gS 9:47 PM Aug 14th via HootSuite
- RT @web20classroom: What is a PLN? Why is it important? http://bit.ly/dfIu3W Good introductory video in 10-part series about PLNs. 8:58 PM Aug 13th via HootSuite
- RT @tomwhitby: "Why students don't learn what we think we teach" http://is.gd/eeGzK Strongly focused on learning. Thoughts for teachers. 4:29 PM Aug 13th via HootSuite
- Thanks2Teachers RT @sccenglish Study from Australia, worth reading: schools and social media: http://bit.ly/a0HK8t #edchat #edtech 6:07 PM Aug 12th via web Retweeted by you
- 31 Ways to Help Young English Learners - GR8 Sites, many interactive activities. http://ht.ly/2nW4P #tesol #efl #esl #elt. 2:42 PM Aug 11th via HootSuite
- Facebook or Twitter or Both? - Teacher Greg's Education & Dhamma Home http://ht.ly/2nSIn in reply to Jason Renshaw (English Raven) #edtech 10:50 AM Aug 11th via HootSuite
- Some school funnies… » Alan Lawrence Sitomer http://ht.ly/2mA2q Scary, but real answers from 16yo's on exam. #edchat #tesol 9:18 PM Aug 8th via HootSuite
- EasyBib: Free Bibliography Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago citation styles http://ht.ly/2mxNj Also, citation guide for MLA. #edtech #musictech 4:05 PM Aug 8th via HootSuite
- RT @TweetSmarter: Terrific Collection of FREE Twitter Tools by category: http://j.mp/9Hx040 112 tools worth looking at. #edtech #edchat 9:33 PM Aug 7th via HootSuite
- Links-ReformSymposium2010 - Google Docs http://ht.ly/2miuG Hundreds of links to sites, blogs, software, talks, vids - good for all teachers. 11:47 AM Aug 7th via HootSuite
- RT @marynabadenhors: RT @MrsAngell Fantastic ESL Language videos http://icio.us/nvcuv0 More than 1,500 of them! 9:12 PM Aug 5th via HootSuite
- Check out my fresh Twitter Tim.es newspaper http://twittertim.es/gregqbear 8:06 PM Aug 5th via web
- Free Twitter for business ebook | Smarta http://ht.ly/2lfna Also has many general tips on using Twitter worth considering. 11:13 AM Aug 5th via HootSuite
- Can Twitter help with education? | Parentella http://ht.ly/2lem0 For the unbelievers and the unconvinced, here's what other teachers say. 10:10 AM Aug 5th via HootSuite
- RT @web20classroom: A Twitteraholic’s Guide to tweets, hashtags, & all things Twitter http://diigo.com/0c585 Worth keeping it for ref! 9:51 AM Aug 5th via HootSuite
- Best Student / Teacher web 2.0 language learning / teaching sites http://ht.ly/2kOyR by David Deubelbeiss #edtech #tesol #elt #esl 8:12 PM Aug 4th via HootSuite
- NOOKstudy Download Free, Digital Textbooks, eTextbook Application - Barnes & Noble http://ht.ly/2kE1d Now live! #edchat #tesol #elt #musiced 9:18 AM Aug 4th via HootSuite
- RT @DoremiGirl: UPDATED! RT @web20classroom: A Huge, Sortable, and Updated Spreadsheet Of All TED Talks Available: http://bit.ly/cEBcjF 1:07 PM Aug 3rd via HootSuite
- RT @englishraven: Validation http://bit.ly/9x4GLl Now with my comments, also available at http://ht.ly/2je1Z #tesol #elt #efl 11:00 PM Jul 31st via HootSuite
- RT @marynabadenhors: Google in classroom resources under headings http://echucaelearning.wikispaces.com/Google+Docs Everything Googley! 10:19 PM Jul 31st via HootSuite
- @englishraven Have you considered following it with a PELTA course? Could be a good money earner! #elt #tesol #efl 9:35 PM Jul 31st via HootSuite in reply to englishraven
- RT @marynabadenhors:Strivney...Free site to learn reading with phonics http://ow.ly/2iKMh I've seen 2 recommends now for it. Check it out! 9:49 PM Jul 30th via HootSuite
- RT @cybraryman1: Schools should have clear policies on use of SM & tech. developed with students/parents input. Gr8 observation! Very smart! 9:42 AM Jul 29th via HootSuite
- RT @marynabadenhors: Looking Ahead at Social Learning: 10 Predictions http://bit.ly/cfk4NV About future of education. Where do you fit? 8:14 PM Jul 28th via HootSuite
- RT @marynabadenhors: Get thinking into your lessons: a ten point plan http://bit.ly/9WZhw5 Thanks, Maryna. PDF file & any ideas. 8:32 AM Jul 28th via HootSuite
- RT @web20classroom: Learn It in 5 - How-to Vids for Teachers http://is.gd/dK8eu Delicious, Twit,Ning, Kidblog, TeacherTube, VoiceThread, etc 9:38 PM Jul 27th via HootSuite
- RT @kalinagoenglish: Super! More people need 2 understand Creative Commons - http://bit.ly/bXsMf4 Protect your original works by licences. 9:22 PM Jul 27th via HootSuite
- RT @EnglishWiZiQ: RT @Twinky7109: Free Virtual Classroom for Online Teaching and Learning http://bit.ly/cQ03HL Worth checking out! 8:45 PM Jul 27th via HootSuite
- Just changed on http://wefollow.com twitter directory to list under: #hsinchu #buddhism #travel #tech #education #music 7:40 PM Jul 27th via WeFollow
- RT @ShellTerrell: 20 Websites No Teacher Should Start the Year Without http://j.mp/coiqOF #edtech #elearning via @oswego98 9:08 PM Jul 25th via HootSuite
- RT @marynabadenhors: RT @rkiker 99 of the best Windows freeware programs you may not know of http://bit.ly/9WnBno 9:15 PM Jul 19th via HootSuite
- English Raven: Easy? Says who? http://ht.ly/2a5f1 Difficulties with ELL's and reading, together with my comments. A fun read (if you can)! 6:19 PM Jul 12th via HootSuite
- RT @paksorn: What Is The Purpose of Your School’s Curriculum? | edte.ch http://j.mp/bm65lP Now with my additional brief thoughts. 5:56 PM Jul 12th via HootSuite
- RT @tomwhitby: A site for Mobile Learning Devices for Elem Level. http://bit.ly/cR4vfl Sharings and lesson ideas from many schools. 9:19 AM Jul 12th via HootSuite
- @ NickKristof Why change to a silly scoring system just to boost points? It doesn't change anything. If you score more goals you win anyway. 9:11 AM Jul 12th via HootSuite
- RT @ShellTerrell: RT @flourishingkids: My first Prezi! If You Give a Teacher Twitter http://bit.ly/c6y8nk PLEASE share re uses of Twitter. 10:13 PM Jul 11th via HootSuite
- RT @eflclassroom: New post on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0 - using culturally appropriate music http://ning.it/b19eCi Now with my added comments! 9:53 PM Jul 11th via HootSuite
- RT @DoremiGirl: Great post! REFORM vs. TRANSFORM by @tomwhitby http://ht.ly/29KmY #edchat Making tech. ubiquitous in teaching & learning. 8:44 PM Jul 11th via HootSuite
- RT @web20classroom: Igniting Innovation in Education through Collaboration | Edutopia http://bit.ly/9241oz Helps appreciate value of twitter 8:36 PM Jul 9th via HootSuite
- RT @DoremiGirl: Periodic Text Message (SMS) Table: A handy quick guide for those with DSL accents. http://ht.ly/2903w via @nero1279 7:59 PM Jul 9th via HootSuite
I posted a Tweet today to share 31 websites suitable for young learners of English:
31 Ways to Help Young English Learners - GR8 Sites, many interactive activities. http://ht.ly/2nTdu #tesol #efl #esl #elt.
This link to my 44tips.com service provides the best interactive student activities for lower level classes, many usable on SmartBoards as well. There are sites offering videos, sounds, games, activities, cartoons, courses, audio, stories, searches, all aspects of literacy and phonics.
From my observation of blogs and tweets, these sites are among the best available, so I'm sharing them with learners (as many can be used outside of class) and teachers to get the most out of new technologies and to maximise their fun in learning English.
If you have other sites worth adding, please let me know. Please enjoy!
Says: May 24th, 2010 at 7:15 am comment-page-1/#comment-45
A very interesting post – though a little too “left” for my liking.
Just for background – I teach EFL to elementary school kids in Taiwan, but I’ve taught elsewhere, including ESL in Australia (my home).
Here are some random thoughts which your article brought to my mind:
- GLBT doesn’t appear in school textbooks generally, let alone ESL ones, so you can’t single out individual publishers without targeting those that produce texts for other school subjects as well.
- I’m not convinced there is a place for discussing GLBT in elementary school. In fact, sex education is not offered in many places until later, let alone it’s various forms. You have to consider age appropriateness here.
- I doubt if religious schools or religious-based countries would buy such texts if GLBT or other “sensitive” subjects were included. Publishers are businesses – their motivation is making money, not ensuring the inclusion of every shade of viewpoint (though, admittedly, they play it safe in the centre).
- If you are going to include GLBT why stop there? What about different political and religious ideologies? What about indigenous perspectives and culture? What about texts on people with physical or mental disabilities? My point is that there is just not enough room in the curriculum to include everyone and everything. Perhaps some features on people doing some good in the world (e.g. helping the poor, raising environmental awareness, making breakthroughs in various fields) could counterbalance the movie and pop stars.
- I think what is more important than slavishly following celebrities or “cleaner than thou” models, is to ask (a) what do students NEED when they come to an English-speaking country or interact with English speakers, and (b) what is useful for them to learn.
As an aside, I would like to agree with Marisa about the selection of texts. I have had to teach in Australia using Headway and Cutting Edge, which was difficult because I didn’t always know the people they were talking about, why they were chosen, etc. I couldn’t relate it to my Australian lifestyle at all. Unfortunately, we are slow at developing our own alternatives that are packaged in such a way as to make them valuable to ESL schools.
Finally, at the end of the day, a good teacher will use a variety of resources (print, multi-media, on-line, their own experiences, etc) in assisting learners, and will not restrict themselves to just the text as their only source of content.
Thanks for reminding me of the need to bring critical analysis to my work in the classroom.
Posted May 24th, 2010 at 7:15am on http://vassilakis.edublogs.org/2010/05/23/are-elt-materials-purged-of-ideology/
Some useful ideas that I would also support – particularly using the textbook as only one of many resources, drawing out students’ existing knowledge and skills, and providing useful material for life beyond the classroom.
However, I don’t think we should be considered bad teachers if we haven’t updated our lessons for next week with new stuff on the Internet this week. Not everything changes that fast, not everything that is new is good, and not everything that is “last week” is bad.
Also, as an English language teacher, I’m afraid your proposition of no longer teaching content won’t work.
How are Taiwanese elementary school kids supposed to learn English if all I do is show them “how to find, access, analyze, understand, and create content”? I assume I would have to get my Chinese co-teacher to write this in their first language and then leave it up to them to discover what they need by themselves.
They would then some how search the English web – not easy when they can’t read, write or type English characters, there are few computers available and I only see them 40-minutes per week – work out what would be appropriate – again not easy as they can’t read English – and then show me their great discoveries. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to explain to me what they discovered, as I don’t speak Chinese and they won’t have magically learned how to speak English.
Oh, I forgot to mention, some of these are grade one students (about 5 years old).
Come on, this just won’t work in my situation. What about those that teach students to play a musical instrument? What about those that teach ballet or sport? According to your proposition, they can just read about it or watch it on the Web and go out and play.
Honestly, what is required in your remarks is the context you are speaking about. When you say ALL teachers, you should clarify the educational sector you are talking about. That way they might make more sense to those of us not working in that environment.
Posted on May 23, 2010 at 4:32 AM on http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/hunter-gatherer-teacher/