Category Number IX

Keywords Word processing, spelling, word formation, collaboration, writing, creativity

Words Clouds
URL address of suggested tools Wordle www.wordle.net WordItOut http://worditout.com Rationale

Maintaining students´ motivation and attention is very important for effective language learning. Involving students actively using their creativity also helps to raise attention. Improving writing skills is necessary for students´ future professional development. Using word clouds generators enables teachers to put these two necessities together. By active approach and participation in a task students will widen their vocabulary, learn how to spell properly and also develop and improve their collaborative skills. Description Wordle and WordItOut are online tools for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. A word cloud is an arrangement of randomly positioned words, where the most important words (most frequently occurring in the text) are bigger than the others. You can customize your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and colour schemes. Your created word clouds can be printed out, saved to an online gallery, saved to your computer and/or shared with your friends pasting link or embedding the cloud itself into a blog or a website. Resources required There is no need to install any additional software to your computer while using either word cloud generator. Obligatory resources:  Desktop computer or laptop  Reliable and stable Internet connection To ensure smooth functioning of Wordle you also need:  Java web-browser plug-in (you must ensure that Java applets are enabled in your browser) Cost Suggested tools  Wordle: Completely free  WordItOut: Completely free Implementation methodology Word cloud generatos can be used in the classroom as additional activity to maintain students´ motivation and attention. Active approach and involvement of students´ creativity also help to raise motivation and increase effectiveness of language learning. As using word cloud generators helps to practise students´ writing skills and spelling, the teacher may give individual students or small groups of students a task to create a word cloud using different groups of words, or even a story or an article. Both, groups of words and an article can be related to different topics worked on within the class. Teaching/Learning ideas:  collaboration on a task with fellow students  practising spelling and writing skills  foreign language learning through creative and active participation

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The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Other issues To practice spelling of common problematic words the teacher can choose a group of verbs in gerund form, plural nouns or adverbs. When using a story or an article to create a word cloud the teacher might advise the students to write/use only a page long story in order not to slow down the process of entering the text in the word cloud generator too much and also to limit the amount of used words so that all groups of students write equal amount of text. Useful tips   . http://translate.google.com – Students might need to translate some words into English or check correct spelling of words. Student can create their own blogs to share their word clouds with friends.

This Factsheet is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

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The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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