Scaffolding output based on comprehensible input

This is an output activity that can be used by comprehensible input teachers, no? (See my reasoning below if you're not convinced)

(NB: It's based on chapter 1 of "Brandon Brown veut un chien", which I added to textivate a while back with permission from Carol Gaab.)

Here you have:

  • English text to refer to so that meaning is clear
  • First letter of each word provided
  • Option to just gap every 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th word to make the activity easier (and to increase the input)
  • An activity which, if used after the students have read the text, provides a template for retelling the story correctly
  • Something which DOES NOT HAVE TO BE TYPED - you can use the combination of the English translation and the initial letters as a basis for students re-telling (re-building) the text ORALLY in class.
  • Linked to the above point, you as the teacher can type in the text as students read it out (re-tell it orally), confirming the spellings etc so that they can see the text appear as they speak, or you can help them with tricky bits by typing in the letters.

What do you think?

Automatic word clouds in textivate (Sort of)

You may have come across this blog post based on using an image of a wordcloud to support a textivate resource.

Well I think that, essentially, the main benefit of a wordcloud is that it provides the student with a record of all of the words in the text, so that they have a reference for spelling, and so that if they are doing an activity such as the one shown in the above image, they can look at the list if they are stuck on a particular word.

Then this got me thinking that it would be even better if the list was in alphabetical order...

Students learning speaking assessments

If you have a textivate Premium or Group subscription, your students get a shared student password which enables them to:

  1. Browse the public resources on textivate.
  2. Modify existing resources and do activities "on the fly".
  3. Create their own activities "on the fly".
  4. Save their own texts in local storage for access on the same device (or on the same user profile if on a school network).
  5. Copy and paste their resources between textivate and other text storage such as word docs, txt files or email messages.

Enhancing "on the fly" resources with extra features

In addition to a text or a list of matching items, students can also add...

  1. A parallel text (containing a translation of the text in English, or containing notes as prompts to reproduce the parallel text)
  2. Text-to-speech! -- with all of the usual caveats regarding the accuracy of text-to-speech, it can be really useful in helping students to learn the correct pronunciation.
  3. A parallel audio or video.

With regard to speaking controlled assessments this means that students can add notes and audio / TTS (text-to-speech) to their practice text, and it's dead easy to do.

Here's what you have to do:

Adding video / audio / an image / parallel text to a textivate resource

This post is a summary of recent additions to textivate and explains how you can now combine textivate resources with a video, audio file, image and/or parallel text to add all sorts of extra functionality.

This blog post explains how to add video.

This post deals with adding an audio file.

This one deals with adding an image.

And this one tells you how to add a parallel text.

You can add one of each of the above to a textivate resource, if you like. The student can then click on the relevant icon to view the resource along with the video, audio, image or parallel text.

What does all this add to textivate?

Angleterre 1 - 2 Italie (a match report in simple French)

Here is the French text. (This can be used along with the Find the French pdf below):

Angleterre 1-2 Italie

Le samedi 14 juin l'Angleterre a joué contre l'Italie. L'Italie est une équipe très forte et on attendait un match difficile. Les deux équipes ont très bien joué mais c'est l'Italie qui a remporté la victoire.

On a commencé le match très fort et Raheem Sterling a très bien joué. Il a presque marqué un but après trois minutes! Puis deux minutes plus tard une frappe puissante d'Henderson a été repoussée par le gardien italien, Sirigu.

Mais c'est l'Italie qui a marqué le premier but à la 35e minute - Andrea Pirlo a laissé passer le ballon pour Claudio Marchisio qui a marqué d'un tir superbe des 20 mètres.

L'Angleterre a répondu tout de suite: moins de deux minutes plus tard Sturridge a marqué l'égaliseur sur un excellent centre de Wayne Rooney, et à la mi-temps le score était de 1-1.

Pendant la deuxième mi-temps l'Angleterre a très bien joué. On avait beaucoup d'occasions de buts, et on aurait dû marquer plus de buts. Mais Balotelli a marqué le seul but de la deuxième mi-temps à la 50e minute grâce à un centre de Candreva. Andrea Pirlo a presque marqué un troisième pour l'Italie dans le temps additionnel, quand son coup franc a trouvé la barre transversale de Joe Hart.

C'est un résultat décevant parce qu'on a très bien joué. Ce qui est sûr, c'est que le match contre l'Uruguay sera très difficile parce qu'ils ont perdu eux aussi leur premier match. Pour l'équipe qui perd ce prochain match, c'est fini!

And here is the English translation. (Can be used as support for any of the text-based pdfs below):