Monday, March 12, 2012


What is Wordle?

Wordle is a website for creating 'word clouds' from the texts which are inserted. This tool is more or less similar to WordSift but Wordsift only shows the 50 most frequent words appear in the texts inserted. Wordle, on the other hand, allows us to decide on the maximum number of words that appears in the word cloud.

How can teachers use Wordle?

Teachers may use this tool to in a reading lesson to students of different age, from primary school students to secondary school students, with different levels of English. I have provided here with an example of word cloud from the text called the 'The Dragon Rock' by Ellena Ashley.

The word appears in the biggest font size, which is 'Dragon', shows that the word appears the most in the text, followed by words like 'children', and 'like'. The smaller the word is, the less frequent it appears in the text. 

The font, the layout, and the colour of the clouds can also be edited. Here are some of the examples. 

For more information on how to use Wordle, you can check out Russell Stannard's website.

Teachers may use Wordle for activities like previewing text in a reading lesson in the pre-reading stage to get students get an overview of what the text is about. It may also help in generating students' interest towards the text as well as activating students' schemata. It is also important for students to be introduced to to the vocabulary in the text by allowing them to see the words that they may or may not be familiar with. 

Students may also work individually or in pairs and discuss about what the text is about by just looking at the Wordle. This may encourage speaking among students and students may then be asked to share their ideas with the rest of the class.

Other than that, teachers may also ask students to type a short story and make a Wordle using their stories. Students will the be paired up and students will be given the Wordle of the pair and guess the story that their partners have written.

What I like about Wordle...
  1. The font, the layout, and the colour of your clouds can be edited. More interesting.
  2. It can be printed out to be used in class.
  3. Can be saved into gallery, but once it is saved, it will go public.
  4. Introducing vocabulary to students.
  5. The maximum number of words can be decided.
  6. Can remove words which are not in English or any words that are not wanted.
  7. Can be used to practice multiple skills (reading, writing, and speaking)
  8. Very nice visual texts! 
What I dislike about Wordle...
  1. Your clouds will go public once you save it. Not private. 
  2. Small words are sometimes too small to be read.


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