Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wordle -- More than a beautiful word cloud

Wordle -- Beautiful word clouds, and MORE than beautiful word cloud!
It has many educational potential!

What is a Wordle ?

Wordle is a Web 2.0 tool to make word clouds. Generally, the users put in the text, and the more frequently a word is used, the bigger it becomes in the word clould.

The following is a word cloud I did when I put in the fairy tale -- Snow White.

You may want to start doing your own wordle after you watch a brief tutorial. :)

The reasons for choosing Wordle for ELT
Colorful and interesting, thus motivating for students, expecially the young learners.

  • It requires for Java plugin for a computer.
  • When embeded to the blogger, the word cloud image is too small to be clear enough. Therefore, if you want a bigger image of the word cloud, you should do a screencast.

Wordle: snow white
An example of an embeded version: very small and not clear enough
Suggestions for teachers:

  •  Use it as a pre-reading/ listening activity, ask the students to see the word cloud and predict the content of the reading/listening materials.

  • In writing class:
1) Using Wordle to check out the most friequently used words and expressions in certain types/genres of articles, so that the students can learn some fixed word choice in a specific type of writing.

2) Put the students’ writing task into wordle, and check out the most frequent adjective, content verbs, adverbs, linking words, ect., so that the students can think about/ look into the dictionary for other words and expressions to replace them, thus making the choice of expression more diversified.

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