Text reconstruction with ReText

This was going to be a suite of apps, with a fancy title, bundled together. But a lot of this stuff is really useless as stand-alone apps – they have to be integrated within a post to have any pedagogical value. And so they’re here, available via menus, but I don’t – at the moment – feel they deserve to be packaged and marketed in any way.

If anyone wants to use these as WordPress shortcodes, you’re welcome – please either email me or comment below this post.

The apps include:

  • Cloze your books (Converts any uploaded text into a total cloze, which you can then attempt to reconstruct online, one word at a time).
  • Sentence Repair Man (Shuffles words in sentences, which you can then attempt to reconstruct online, or print for classroom use).
  • Mind the Gap (puts gaps at every Nth word in a text, with the option to print for classroom use).
  • Linkin’ Text (Highilights 4 types of (spoken) link between words in a text).
  • AWLizer (Highlights words from the Academic Word List in a text).

Enjoy!

Articles and sentient animals

New Zealand now recognises all animals as sentient beings!

Discuss with a friend.. If animals are sentient beings (they can think and feel pretty much like humans can), how does this affect our attitude to:

  • animals as food
  • scientific experimentation involving animals (vivisection)
  • animals in sport and entertainment

After your discussion, read the following text and select articles as appropriate. Continue reading

IELTS Disco Descriptors

IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing scores are decided by an examiner who refers to descriptions of people’s ability at ten levels, or bands, from 0 up to 9. Candidates are not allowed to see the official descriptors used by examiners, but IELTS do allow you to see a public version of the descriptors that is very similar.

I thought it would be fun to add some colour and clickability to the dreary old public band descriptors! Put on some disco music and click away! Continue reading

Sustainable articles

There was confusion in class recently about the meaning of ‘sustainability’, so let’s take a few minutes out to get our heads around this extremely important social issue. Below is the opening of the Wikipedia entry on sustainability. Find out what sustainablity actually is and at the same time practice using articles!

A related practice activity focusing on the effects of plastic on the environment can be found here. And if you need ideas about how to choose articles to go with nouns, read this.

As usual, if you think an article isn’t needed, just leave the drop-down menu blank! Continue reading

Plastic articles

Just as plastic causes problems for our planet, articles cause all kinds of problems for students of English, especially when their first language doesn’t really have them (Indonesian!).

In a more recent practice activity the focus is on sustainable development and how that relates to the envirnoment. Meanwhile if you’re not sure about how to use articles in English (a, an, the), read this first, and then try the activity below!

In addition to the instruction given, if no article is suitable then don’t make a selection. Good luck! Continue reading

Articles and/or ‘s’

[alert type=”danger” dismissable=”true”] WARNING to lazy students! This post includes tricky grammar rules and there’s a challenging practice activity for you to try at the end![/alert]

Articles and nouns

For every noun you speak or write, you need to use grammar to communicate one of the meanings in the ‘meaning’ column in the table below. Continue reading