Thursday, November 17, 2011


It is a tool to generate 'words clouds' from a text. This tool could be used for analysing and visualising a text. The clouds will show the most frequent words in larger font size and the less frequent words in smaller size. 

# Age of learners - Eleven years old and above (at this age, students are expected to be able to analyse a text)
# Level of learners - All levels be it lower, intermediate or advanced

# Go to the Wordle Website 

# Paste your text in the box provided and click 'Go' (You need to install Java Player to view your Wordle)
# Then, your paste text will appear in which the most common words will be in the biggest font size
# You may change its language, font, layout and colour
# You also can randomise the words based on your preference (a lot of choice are available)
# You can save your Wordle in the public gallery and in the future, if you wish to delete it, you may do so (but remember to save the URL provided!)
Below is an example of the text cloud that I have made using Wordle. The text is a short story entitled 'Hansel and Gretel'.

Example 1: 

Example 2: 

Few suggestion of activities in using Wordle for language teaching:

  1. Pre-reading activity to activate prior knowledge - Teacher can paste the reading text in Wordle and show it to the students. Then, teacher asks the students to guess what the text is about.
  2. Elicit speaking - Teacher shows a word cloud and asks the students to give their own opinion about the text. Students may talk about: what the text is about, key points in the text etc. Another option could be that the students work in group and use Wordle for a basis of discussion. 
  3. In writing essay - students write a draft of an essay then, they can paste their draft and analyse their writing. They can see what are the most words or phrases that they tend to use and it can also help to spot cliche.
  4.  Could also be used to summarise big ideas of a chapter or passage of a text. For this activity, the teacher could ask the students to work in pairs and use Wordle to summarise the text. Then, some students need to present their summary.  

*Some of the activities provided would develop collaborative learning since they need to work in group and discuss some of the ideas. In addition, this would enhance the students' speaking skill*
*Using Wordle is parallel with constructivism approach in which learners learn knowledge by constructing their own understanding of what they have learnt. This refers to Activity 1, 2 and 4.*

  1. It is FREE!
  2. Print version is available - so, you can print it
  3. Could be used for both colour lovers or colour blinders (the Wordle available in black and white as well as coulourful)
  4. Suitable for visual learners especially
  5. It can enhance students to speak 
  6. Creative way to present ideas or key points
  7. Develop critical thinking skills - use Wordle to analyse main ideas, make predictions and to critique and revise essays. 

  1. Wordle has a very short memory of the image that it creates - If you forgot to save your Wordle and you open a new image, the image of the old one will lose. 

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