This weekend (March 25th-27th) sees the latest edition of the Virtual Round Table online conference take place and marks the beginning of a busy month of presentations for me, with workshops at the ISTEK ELT and TED ELT events to follow.
This will be my second online presentation after my session on self-assessment at last November’s Global Education Conference and this time I’ll be looking at using word clouds to support language learning activities. I won’t be going over the technical side of how to make word clouds or comparing the different tools available (I will provide links to resources for those though) - instead, I intend to focus on what purposes they can be used for. Here’s the abstract I submitted if you want more details:
This session will demonstrate ways to use Wordle as a teaching and learning tool beyond merely creating an attractive ‘word cloud’. Ideas for a range of activities and language skills will be presented such as introducing new vocabulary topics, previewing a text and making predictions, reviewing a text for reconstruction purposes as well as providing prompts for speaking and writing tasks. Using word clouds for analysing texts, both authentic and student-generated, will also be discussed with emphasis on how this is useful for determining the focus and/or bias of the text as well as the range of vocabulary. All of these activities can easily be integrated into lessons with different types of learner and ability groups.
I have a few ideas for trying to increase audience involvement rather than just having everyone listen to me for the full session so, if you are attending, come prepared to type and/or use your microphone!
Here’s the link to my session, which starts at 11.30 GMT on Saturday, March 26th. The only issue with the timing is that I will be presenting at the same time as Barbara Sakamoto, whose presentation is on using tech with young learners - one I really wanted to see! A good thing then that all sessions will be archived. I’ll post a link to the archive of my session here on the blog once it’s available.
Hope to see you on Saturday!