The image above is a Wordle of the importance statement of the MFL programme of study. It is a word cloud created by a free online application at www.wordle.net/ which randomizes text and displays the words according to the frequency of the words used (the more frequent the word, the bigger the word). It has tremendous potential for use in the classroom in terms of developing language learning and thinking skills:
- As a starter – to introduce new vocabulary or topic. At a simple level pupils can be given a wordle of vocabulary or text from a new topic area and they can work individually/ in pairs/groups to identify which words they know, which ones they can guess (cognates) and which ones they need to use dictionary skills to work out. At advanced level learners can be give a wordle of a text which they use as a starting point for a discussion trying to predict the context.
- To apply their knowledge about language to categorise the words in the wordle. e.g. nouns/verbs/adjectives or to classify nouns by gender.
- As a plenary/tool for AfL – e.g. a wordle created of TL and English words which pupils have to match up or a wordle in the TL in which they demonstrate their knowledge about language or phonics or their ability to use language creatively.
- To demonstrate understanding of phonics by classifying words by their phonemes/letter strings.
- As a revision aid – a summary of a particular topic or context or as an aide-memoire.
- To help pupils develop presentation and spontaneous speaking skills.
- To show the results of a class survey or poll or as a display.
- To promote creativity – pupils are challenged to create sentences/stories etc from words on a wordle.
- As a tool in a listening exercise – pupils cross out the words they can identify in a spoken text.
- To encourage self reflection (PLTS – reflective learners) and to improve written work – the frequency count in a wordle will highlight words that can get over used e.g. “intéressant” or “lustig”. A wordle can also make it easier for pupils to spot their own mistakes (e.g. in the incorrect use of accents) as it breaks up the normal order of words, thus making it less likely that they will simply gloss over their mistakes.
These are just some of the few ways in which a wordle can be used and they are dead simple to create as you can see here: