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.

>>> Our resource so far: empty home page

2. Click the Text tab and type or paste in a text

You can type or paste in any text of up to 500 words.

There are various sources of texts:

Speed Read! (text reading activity against the clock :)

Speed Read is a great way of helping students to memorize a text, and of getting them reading and understanding quickly and accurately.

It's simple: students have 3 "lives". The timer runs across the screen while the students decides the next correct part of the text. If they get it wrong, they lose a chunk of time. If the time runs out, they lose a life. Once all 3 lives are lost, the game is over.

The info at the bottom left of the screen indicates the overall score plus the number of times the complete text has been read.

The challenge is to get a high score, by reading the text several times. (The timer gets faster with each re-read!)

The text chunks alternate between 3-word chunks and 2-word chunks with each re-read.

Here's an embedded example: