Short texts: resources for GCSE French translation (and much more)

If you are a textivate subscriber, you will be able to access the resources on the textivate plus section of textivate. (If you are not a subscriber, you will be able to see what's there, but you won't be able to open the activities.)

One part of textivate plus is the "Short texts" section for KS4 French. These texts are similar in length (and content?) to the L1>L2 translation texts on the new GCSE specifications. (Higher tier, admittedly, but these are still useful practice resources for Foundation candidates.)

Here is the link to the short texts for GCSE French: http://www.textivate.com/plus/French/KS4_Short%20texts_

Check it out.

Each resource contains over 50 activities (described below, or you could just click the link above and select one of the resources):

  1. Text intro / rebuild: parallel English text to provide meaning, TTS for audio, multiple choice text rebuild.
  2. Flashcards, presenting the vocab in order as it appears in the text, with the parallel French text for reference.
  3. Jigsaw reading / translation: read the English and put the blocks of French in order.
  4. Jigsaw listening: click the speak button to hear the text spoken one sentence at a time; put the blocks of French in order.
  5. Separate the words: with parallel English text, click to separate French words that have been joined together.
  6. Vocab match (1 in 4): listen and read the prompt and select the correct English meaning; parallel French text provided for reference.
  7. Snap: decide whether the English (top line) matches with the French (bottom line), which is also spoken via TTS.
  8. Jigsaw reading / translation (as 3 but with more blocks)
  9. Jigsaw listening (as 4 but with more blocks)
  10. Click & Match: find the matching pairs.
  11. Millionaire reading: rebuild the French text without making any mistakes.
  12. Vocab 3 in a row
  13. Random gap-fill: fill the words in the text; gaps change with each page load.
  14. Key vocab gap-fill.
  15. Memory pairs.
  16. Gap-fill 3 in a row.
  17. Jigsaw reading / translation (as 3 but with more blocks)
  18. Jigsaw listening (as 4 but with more blocks)
  19. Gap-fill football game: a 2 minute game against textivate.
  20. Vocab match (1 in 10): listen and read the prompt and select the correct English meaning; parallel French text provided for reference.
  21. Find the French - initials: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  22. Vocab dictation - vowels: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  23. Jumbled words dictation / translation: listen to the French and put the words in the correct order; parallel English text makes this a translation activity too.
  24. Vocab football.
  25. Vocab jumble - translation: look at the English and put the French words in the correct order.
  26. Word blocks dictation: click the speak button to hear the text spoken one sentence at a time; click the 3-words blocks to rebuild the text.
  27. Word blocks translation: read the parallel English text and click the 3-words blocks to rebuild the text.
  28. Speed read: multi-choice text rebuild with a timer.
  29. Vocab dictation - initials: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  30. Flashcards translation - vowels: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French is provided with vowels missing.
  31. Vocab translation - no vowels: read the English and fill in the missing letters in the French.
  32. Word invaders: click the French words missing from the text in the correct order.
  33. Word snake: listen, read and find the missing letters.
  34. Invaders - vocab dictation.
  35. Find the French - with anagrams: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  36. Flashcards translation - initials: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French word shapes are provided along with initial letters.
  37. Vocab translation - initials: read the English and fill in the missing letters in the French.
  38. Flashcards translation, with word shapes provided + French text for reference; a sort of find-the-French meets flashcards.
  39. Find the French - with word shapes: find the correct translation for the English phrase in the French text.
  40. Vocab dictation - word shapes: listen and fill in the missing letters; English translation provided to reinforce meaning.
  41. Letter maze dictation game.
  42. Flashcards translation - word shapes: read the English and see if you know what the French translation should be; the French word shapes are provided.
  43. Translation / dictation combined - no vowels.
  44. Dictation - no vowels.
  45. Translation - no vowels.
  46. Translation / dictation combined - with anagrams.
  47. Dictation - with anagrams.
  48. Translation - with anagrams.
  49. Invaders - letter gap-fill game.
  50. Translation / dictation combined - with initial letters.
  51. Dictation - with initial letters.
  52. Translation - with initial letters.
  53. Flashcards translation, without clues: look at the English and see if you know the French.
  54. Translation / dictation combined - with word shapes.
  55. Dictation - with word shapes.
  56. Translation - with word shapes.

The activities are ordered approximately from easier to more difficult. Obviously, nobody would suggest doing every activity. But you have a lot to go at.

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Textivate Plus

We've created a new section on textivate with ready-made resources. So far it only has resources for French, but we'll be adding to it over the coming months.

We've tried to include plenty of activities with a focus on L1>L2 translation.

Check it out: http://www.textivate.com/plus.php

You'll be able to navigate around the whole "Textivate Plus" section of the site, but you'll need to log in to access the activities themselves.

You can access textivate plus via the textivate home page (see below).

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Adding an audio file to your textivate resource

Just as you can add a video to your textivate resources, as explained here, or an image (see here), you can now add an audio file to a textivate resource so that students can listen to it as they complete the activities.

As with video and image embedding, there are 2 methods:

1. Via the "Extras" tab

Simply click on the Extras tab and type or paste the link to your audio in the "Audio url" box.

What's been added to TEXTIVATE since the beginning of the last academic year?

New features are being added to textivate all the time. 

To give you an idea, if you've been using textivate for the last 12 months (September 2015 - August 2016), these are all the new features that have been added to textivate in that time. Click on the links for more info:

  1. Challenges (September 2015) - in-class competitions for individuals or teams
  2. Match Jumble (October 2015) - new match activity
  3. Drop-down box navigation (November 2015)
  4. Split by sentence (November 2015)
  5. Improved options for non-roman-script languages (November 2015)
  6. Jumbled words (November 2015) - new text activity
  7. Word invaders (November 2015) - new text activity
  8. Football (January 2016) - new text and match activities
  9. 3 in a row (January 2016) - new text and match activities
  10. Space specifications (January 2016)
  11. Flashcards improvements (January 2016)
  12. Speed read (February 2016) - new text activity
  13. Text to speech (July 2016) - new feature to add speech functionality to almost all your textivities
  14. Switch matching items (July 2016) - improvement for match resources
  15. Flashcards clues options (August 2016) - makes flashcards much more versatile

Challenges are just one of many new features added to textivate in the past 12 months...

BIG changes to Flashcards with new "Clue" option :0)

Until now, the Flashcards activity has looked like this:

The prompt is presented along with a question mark. The student tries to say the correct answer. They click the question mark and the correct answer is revealed. They then click the green tick if they got it right or the red cross if they got it wrong. (And if they got it wrong, that question was repeated again later.)

Well, most of that is exactly as it was before. The big difference is the option to set a different clue instead of just a question mark. (See the image at the top of the page which shows the option box.) So what you end up with now is all of the following ways of viewing Flashcards (as well as the default question mark option, which is still there):

New text-to-speech "sections" option added to many text activities.

The Tile and Horizontal activities, Paragraph, 1in3, 1in4, 1in5, Million and Next word now have a new feature: TTS sections.

If you have enabled TTS for your resource, you should see TTS sections as one of the TTS options for these activities. If you select TTS sections, a "Speak" button appears with a dropdown box for each sentence in the text. (See above). Click "Speak" to hear the current section.

See the embedded Tile 3x4 activity below as an example:

Talking pictures? Image-based Match resources with added text-to-speech!

You may or may not be aware that it IS possible to create Match resources on textivate matching images with text. This blog post tells you all about it.

Well, with text-to-speech, it's now possible to add a voice to those images too. Here's how:

  1. Make an image based Match resource by placing urls pointing to the locations of your image files inside [img] and [/img] tags, as explained in this blog post.
  2. Add the text that you want to be spoken AFTER the closing [/img] tag and before the == separator.
  3. Add a TTS voice to the left part of your match resource. (See this blog post about adding TTS to your resources.)

You should end up with something that looks like this:

And activities like the embedded examples below, where the image serves to reinforce the meaning:

TTS for spelling activities, with meaning reinforced by L1

Add text-to-speech to your Match activities to create audio-based spelling activities where the meaning is reinforced by displaying the L1 as a prompt.

To do this:

  1. Make a Match activity with the items listed as L1>L2
  2. Add a TTS voice to the right match (L2)
  3. Use one of the "Fill in the letters" Match activities, with TTS on.

See the embedded example below:

TTS (text-to-speech) added to Space (Separate the words)

We've now added text-to-speech (TTS) to the Space activity ("Separate the words").

If your resource has text-to-speech enabled, turn on TTS using the selector at the bottom of the screen, and click "speak" to speak the text one sentence at a time. Use the number selector to jump to a different part of the text. (After finishing speaking a sentence, the number selector jumps to the next sentence automatically, so you just need to keep clicking the "speak" button.)

Here's an embedded example for you: