Working with written texts... (inspired by TLTT)

I've just been reading through chapter 10 of the excellent "The Language Teacher Toolkit" by Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti (available here). 

The chapter is called "Working with written texts" and it gives a list of 30 or so different types of activities that can be done with written texts. As I read through the list it occurred to me that many of the activities listed can be automated and can therefore be delivered via textivate. I thought I'd put together some examples :)

The sections below are: 1. Listen and read; 2. Jigsaw reading; 3. Parallel texts; 4. Find the French; 5. Synonyms; 6. Definitions; 7. Question forming; 8. Completing sentences; 9. True, false, not mentioned; 10. Matching tasks; 11. Multiple-choice questions; 12. "Wh" questions; 13. Gap-filling; 14. Changing the point of view; 15. Translation; 16. Dictation; + Other activities.

Exploiting texts

This is a step-by-step user-guide which demonstrates how simple it is to exploit a text with textivate.

Each of the steps below has an ">>> our resource so far" link at the bottom. Simply click this to see what the textivate resource would look like if you followed the instructions in each step. 

Note that many of the steps are optional: a text-based resource is in fact ready to be used after step 2. (It just needs to be uploaded, which isn't mentioned in this post). The optional extras (steps 4+) add all sorts of extra features to your text resource, such as vocab activities, text-to-speech, parallel text, etc.

1. Create a new resource

Click on the New Resource icon to clear the contents of all of the text boxes before you start.

Things to consider when making a textivate sequence...

Please note that this post was written before the arrival of individual student passwords on textivate. These now make it possible for students to complete a sequence in multiple sessions on multiple devices. With this in mind, many of the considerations regarding time available, devices available etc are no longer so important. That said, many of the points below address other important issues related to sequences, so it is still definitely worth a read.

Textivate icon reference

New resource

On the home / edit page. Click this icon to clear the contents of all of the tabs on the home page before embarking on a new resource.

Upload

On the home / edit page. Once you have created your resource and are ready to upload it to the textivate server, click this icon to add the name of your resource, extra information, tags etc and upload it. You need to have a full (teacher) log-in in order to upload resources.

Local storage

Adding accented characters to textivate...

OK, so there is no textivate-specific way to add accented characters or special characters to textivate.

Note that most textivate exercises DO NOT require the student to type in accented characters. The only exception to this is the Gap-fill (and user-defined Gap-fill) activity, and only when no word list is provided. 

But as a teacher creating your own resources, you will want to make sure that all the special characters are included in your resource.