Upcoming VRT Presentation - Using Word Clouds in the Language Classroom

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.

VRT Wordle Image

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!


  1. Bummed I cannot see your talk, Dave! (I'll be in the midst of examiner training for IELTS, so wish me luck for that!)

    I'm sure it will be ace and look forward to chewing the fat at some point on the whistle-stop tour ISTEK will be for me!

    Bon chance!!

  2. Hi Dave,

    I'm glad you posted on the conference or I would have probably missed it! Looking forward to your talk!


  3. Hello Dave,
    thank you for your wonderful presentation at #vrt11. Your creativity in the ways to use Wordle for language teaching is fascinating!


  4. Sorry, Dave, that I didn't attend. It was just too early for me to get my butt out of bed! I'll definitely look for the recording of it!


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