Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Using Wordle to practice vocabulary

Being a foreign language teacher, I often need to find lots of ways for my students to practice their vocabulary.  Early in my career, I started requiring my students to write their vocabulary words several times each as a means of practicing spelling. A few years back, I attended a conference and spent the entire lesson focusing on merely tech and web 2.0 tools. Someone did a presentation about wordle.  I took it back to my students immediately and had them attempt to use the program for word practice.  They really liked how it worked.

Wordle is a simple way to do a word graphic.  Students type in the words several times and each time the work is input, it gets larger on the final output of the graphic. The outcome is a really neat visual of all of the vocab words.   The students finalize it and embed the link into edmodo or email it to me directly.  It is a neater way to do an old fashioned assignment.

Wordle does more than just vocabulary.  Students can also write simple sentences, poems, definitions and create a visual of the words.

I can't tell you if kids are actually retaining the words doing it this way, but it is a different approach.  A few tips, however, if the words have articles, it is best to connect them together (lestylo) because the wordle will make the article huge and the words small. It also helps to keep the word and the article together.

Overall, this is a simple tool for the classroom. I think it has a lot of potential ideas for a classroom.

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