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Every cloud has a….phrasal verb: Experimenting with wordles

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1 Every cloud has a….phrasal verb: Experimenting with wordles
46th Annual International IATEFL Conference and Exhibition Glasgow, 19 – 23 March 2012 Anne Rocchiccioli Centro Linguistico di Ateneo Università degli Studi di Siena

2 Focus The learning context A brief introduction to ‘Wordle’
Phrasal verb wordles in the F2F classroom and online in Moodle Other uses of wordles Learners’ response and feedback Reflections and suggestions

3 Scenario CLA Siena - Weblingua, blended language courses
2 blended courses, 35 students per class Learners: postgraduate students at B1 level Course objective: prepare students for compulsory B2 level English examination Reading and Use of English B1 and B2 refer to the CEFR - Common European Framework of Reference

4 Blended course structure
2 F2F lessons per week for 11 weeks (44 hours) 10 topic-based lessons online with tutor in Moodle Grammar, vocabulary and listening resources and quizzes, reading and Use of English practice collaborative forum and wiki activites - word formation, transformations, phrasal verbs 3-4 hours per week online + programmed self-study (coursebook)

5 Why wordles? To try to take the stress out of Use of English.

6 Which part of the exam are you more anxious about?
Reading Use of English Both 19.5% 69.5% 11%

7 A word to describe your feelings towards phrasal verbs….

8 Wordles and learning styles
Strong visual impact in F2F lesson Springboard for class discussion Group / pair activities in F2F lesson Self-study online Collaborative and learner-centred online activities

9 What is ‘Wordle’? ‘Wordle is a toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.’



12 Tapescript taken from BBC Learning English - 6 Minute English

13 Unwanted items?

14 Removing unwanted items

15 New version generated automatically

16 Choosing the colour scheme

17 Selecting the font

18 Choosing the layout

19 Removing common words

20 Useful links

21 Creating wordles for specific purposes:
phrasal verbs by preposition


23 Phrasal verbs by verb


25 Phrasal verbs by topic


27 Phrasal verbs with different meanings


29 Phrasal verb wordles in the F2F classroom
Visual presentation of new phrasal verbs Springboard for brainstorming, discussion and pair/group activities Quick review at start or end of a lesson A way of fostering ‘noticing’ and awareness

30 Visual presentation and discussion
Phrasal verbs with ‘off’: separation /departure

31 Matching activity in pairs/groups

32 Reporting back and discussion
go to the station/airport to say goodbye to sb postpone stop giving your attention go away see sb off put off switch off clear off

33 go to the station/airport to say goodbye to sb
postpone stop giving your attention go away see sb off put off switch off clear off

34 Matching activity in pairs/groups

35 Reporting back and discussion
see sb off put off switch off clear off at the station the meeting till Friday during the lecture and leave me alone

36 Group activity: invent sentences

37 Visual presentation and discussion
Phrasal verbs with ‘on’ (idea of continuation)

38 Matching activity in pairs/groups

39 Matching activity in pairs/groups

40 Going beyond the classroom

41 Volunteer group member posts sentences in the Moodle wiki

42 Students collaborate on the wiki

43 Tutor offers feedback and sets up peer correction activity


45 Tutor gives final feedback

46 Wordles online: wikis for collaborative knowledge construction

47 Group collaborates on matching activity 1

48 Group collaborates on matching activity 2

49 Students create and share their own examples online

50 Wordles become more learner-centred
Objective: students create their own wordle-based phrasal verb activity for future use online. Step 1 Teacher sets up the blank structure in a wiki (tables and activity instructions) but no content. Student 1 creates a wordle with 6 phrasal verbs of his/her choice.

51 Student 1 creates a wordle

52 Wordle is uploaded into wiki structure

53 Step 2 Class works online to complete wiki table of phrasal verb + meaning using online dictionary. Student 2 creates wordle for phrasal verb + meaning.

54 Students complete part 1 of the activity

55 Student 2 creates the second wordle:
phrasal verb + meaning

56 Step 3 Students collaborate on part 2 of the activity by inventing sentences and inserting them in table 2 online. Student 3 creates final wordle with the 2 parts of the sentences for future matching activity.

57 Students complete part 2 of the activity: insert the sentences in the 2 columns

58 Student 3 creates the final wordle

59 Final product: wiki activity created using students’ wordles and content

60 Worksheet version to be uploaded in Moodle

61 Wiki activity created using students’ wordles and content

62 Worksheet version to be uploaded in Moodle

63 Phrasal verbs beyond the classroom
wordle presentations online collaborative activities in Moodle wiki explanations and interactive quizzes online online glossary created by students phrasal verb reference resources online phrasal verb section in vocabulary notebook wordle worksheets downloadable from Moodle textbook practice

64 Phrasal verb resources and activities online

65 But not every cloud has ….
…a phrasal verb

66 Other uses of wordles for Use of English
Word formation Adjectives + preposition Common collocations Prepositional phrases Connectors Identifying key word transformations

67 Group/pair matching activity + discussion

68 Group/pair matching activity + discussion

69 Group/pair activity + discussion

70 Collocation: university

71 Group/pair matching activity + discussion

72 Group/pair matching activity + discussion

73 Group/pair matching activity + discussion

74 Prepositional phrases: spot the odd one out


76 Connectors: Presentation and class discussion


78 Recognizing structures for key word transformations



81 Student response and feedback
Student progress in Use of English Questionnaire results Student feedback

82 End of course phrasal verb test
Part 1 – choose the correct phrasal verb (multiple choice) Part 2 – insert a suitable phrasal verb (cloze) Part 3 – key word transformations based on phrasal verbs

83 Results of phrasal verb test
Average mark Group 1 Group 2 79.4% 85.1%

84 Student progress – Use of English
Average mark Group 1 Group 2 Average mark in exam session Midterm test Use of English 44.3% 44.9% End of course test 57.4% 59.8% Final B2 Exam 61.6% 65.4% 57.3%

85 End of course questionnaire
Questionnaire type anonymous 10 questions space for comments and suggestions Purpose to get student feedback on the use of wordles to allow them to reflect on their progress regarding phrasal verbs

86 How would you define your knowledge of phrasal verbs at the start of the course ?
A good knowledge Some knowledge No knowledge 0% 5% 95%

87 Did you find the wordle presentations in class useful?
From a visual point of view, did they help you remember the phrasal verbs better? Yes No 93% 7% Yes No A little 58% 33% 9%

88 Did you contribute actively to the phrasal verb wiki activities?
Did you look at the phrasal verb wiki activities, even if you didn’t contribute? Yes No 60% 40% Yes No 82% 18%

89 Yes No 89% 11% Did you use the phrasal verb collection presentation online to revise for the final test? Do you prefer to learn phrasal verbs from a traditional list or with the visual aid of wordles? Traditional list Wordles Both 24% 67% 9%

90 Do you think you have improved your knowledge of phrasal verbs?
Approximately how many phrasal verbs do you think you know how to use correctly now? Yes No A little 93% 4.5% 2.5% 10 – 20 20 – 30 More than 30 38% 33% 29%

91 Describe your feelings towards phrasal verbs
Start of course End of course

92 What the students had to say
‘I like to study using visual methods or alternative learning methods in general, it's definitely less boring studying with them than studying only by reading words on a black and white book, so I was happy to have encountered wordles during my english course.’

93 ‘I think that this teaching method is great because it allows to learn using visual memory. Even the way he was using was very productive because it allowed students to interact directly, and repetition leads to memorization easier. It is a very innovative and that for my personal experience has been very productived.’

94 ‘I think that the wordles are useful for learning phrasal verbs and grammatical rules. I have used them widely for my preparation at the exam, also at home. However, I do not like very much the wordles in which there are sentences and words messy, for esample diagonally. I prefer wordles written in a schematic form.’

95 ‘The use of wordles in class, for my personal preparation, was useful because I had the opportunity to focalize and remember, at the same time, grammatical points like phrasal verbs and syntax. I have found useless the wordles online because I prefered to study and make exercise on the books. I surely felt more confident about Use of english by the end of the course.’

96 But wordles are only one part of it ….
‘Dear ms Anne Every day I wake up five o clock in the morming. I put my light on , but I stay in bed, I am tried at studing. My studies go up by 50 per cent […] The alarm goes off at The sun's coming up. But the television broke down so also I broke down at the news. If I get behind with your lessons i hope to have more to do later with practice and practice. Teacher if I join the frases verb with my life I'll learn these. […]’

97 Reflections effective springboard for various learning purposes
adaptable to different learning styles not all students are visual learners – alternative approaches must be offered use in moderation clarity – font, layout, avoid overcrowding choice of colours

98 Suggestions for other uses
prediction – reading / listening activities brainstorming and building on vocabulary story-telling activities introducing content/language of a lesson recording emergent language from a lesson recalling language from a previous lesson

99 … I hope you have fun experimenting with wordles!
Thank you and… … I hope you have fun experimenting with wordles!

100 Useful links

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