What is WOODLE?
Wordle is a tool “for generating ‘word cloud’ from text that you provide”. Once you choose a text or type in certain words, it makes them into a “word cloud”, and the size of each word is determined by its frequency in text. It is all free, and once you create your own wordle, you can save or share or publish in its gallery. In addition, it has several functions to determine the text (if functional words counts), and to change fonts and colors. Here is a tutorial video about Wordle.
Relevance to Language Teaching and Learning
Wordle is like a simple and interesting version of corpus display. It can be used in ELT teaching for reading, listening, writing class, and warm-up activities of lessons. Its simple and colorful interface may motivate students in vocabulary and grammar learning. Moreover, wordle can be greatly useful in writing class as aids of lecture or feedback.
Possible Usages in/outside Class
1. Teachers may arrange warm-up activity to introduce new vocabulary to students for reading and listening tasks.
2. In writing class, by typing in all students’ essay, the teacher could analyze regular mistake or frequent low-level words. For example, students may always use “very” as adverb of degree even in exams like IELTS, the teacher could show the size of “very” and give replace words to students, such as “extremely”, “extraordinary”. In this way, students could get clear idea of the issue and remember replace words.
3. Wordle can be pre-task of reading and listening activities, the teacher could ask students to guess the main idea of the text according to several larger notional words.
4. Wordle can be homework for students in groups to make after class for certain tasks.
1. its simple and colorful interface may more suitable for younger students than adult learners.
2. It may mostly be the pre/after little task for students in reading or writing, however, it would be more practical in essay analysis in writing class.
3. Students may get bored after teacher uses it several times.
Alternative website WORDSIFT: http://www.wordsift.com