Using “Wordle” in MFL lessons

How to use Wordle in the MFL classroom:

If you haven’t come across Wordle yet you are in for a treat. This incredibly simple website has lots of potential for using creative activities with ICT in the MFL classroom. Essentially it is a website that creates customised ‘word clouds’ from text that you place into the ‘create‘ box

There are so many ways to use this that it almost gets a bit addictive yet it is really straightforward to use, even with primary MFL.

There is no ‘sign in’ nonsense and the easiest way to start is by playing around with cutting and pasting text from popular websites. The website takes the text and generates a ‘cloud’ of words that vary in size depending on their frequency, so this is a word cloud I made from an article in Le Monde titled “Comment réinventer le collège unique?” and ‘cut & paste’ into the ‘Create’ box. It took me about 1 minute to make and a few mins (or as long as you want) to customise colour/layout/font.

You can see instantly that the most frequent word used in this article of approximately 700 words is the word ‘élèves’.

In the MFL classroom you can:

  • encourage students to find the meaning of common words using Wordle
  • or the opposite – prepare one as a starter for the class and students can work in pairs to guess the topic/title/register – (has it come from an email or a newspaper etc)

The only obvious drawback is saving the final picture. The easiest way I know of, is to ‘printscreen’, paste straight into ‘paint’ then ‘save as ‘ *changing the file type to jpeg‘.

As soon as you start working with it I’m sure you’ll think of lots more ways to use it. Please feel free to post below other successful ways you’ve found.  Of course I think that they’d look great for displays on your MFL wall (you may have to convert it to PDF to enlarge).

tip: use this character (~) to make spaces between words if you are typing something directly into the text box e.g Modern~Foreign~Languages then it will show the words held together but a space between them.

Here is a compilation of 51 ideas for using Wordle in the Classroom collated by Tom Barrett:

Please see my related post comparing Wordle and Tagxedo here for more tips and ideas on using these tools in the MFL classroom

About Miss Cairns

Secondary MFL teacher from North West England
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2 Responses to Using “Wordle” in MFL lessons

  1. John Penney says:

    Thank you for sharing wordle. I was looking for ideas to develop writing skills and used the wordle site to create clouds of words which pupils then have to put into sentences. It works well at KS3 for practising new structures and also at KS4 for developing ideas for the controlled assessment.

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