Last Saturday I attended David Dodgson‘s (@davedodgson) presentation at the VRT11 conference. David’s presentation was “Not just a pretty cloud – Using Wordle in the language classroom”. It was a great session, where David explained what word clouds are, how to make them and gave many practical examples for using them in the language classroom. It was also a very interactive presentation – always a plus in my opinion. If you are interested you can check out Dave’s reflections (and the presentation slides) about it in one of his most recent blog posts.
At the end of his presentation Dave proposed a mini challenge. He showed us an image of a word cloud he had made using his blog’s URL and used it to reflect upon what he’s written about and the vocabulary he’s used (wordle has a nice feature where the more repetitions you have of a word, the bigger the word looks in the word cloud). Then he challenged us to do the same and share our reflections, our findings. He even gave a guideline in the post he wrote about the challenge: we should think about what it tells us about the content of our blog posts, the language we use and if anything had surprised us. Well, if you have read other posts in this blog you should know by now I have a hard time refusing a challenge I have read some great posts, of teachers I admire and am lucky to have in my PLN, joining the challenge: Vladmira Michalkova, Sandy Millin and Tyson Seburn. I really enjoyed noticing how each one drew different conclusions from their word clouds.
My blog’s word cloud you can see above. And here’s what I believe it tells me:
Content? My cloud tells me I write a lot about teachers and students, which is expected since my intention with this blog is to reflect and share my thoughts on teaching, as well as activities I have created/come up with in my daily practice. Those activities mostly deal with vocabulary – another of the biggest words in the cloud. But the rest of the words tell me I have written on a varied range of topics and that I have successfully focused on my profession, since most words can be directly related to English teaching. They also tell me I like having my students work in groups – I am going to start paying attention and check if that’s true, but I believe it is.
Language? I have to admit I was happy when I looked at my word cloud through that perspective. I like the words I see and I couldn’t notice much repetition. Besides, I think the words tell me I have a very positive outlook on my practice – good, better, hope are bigger than others. I was only puzzled that just like Sandy noticed on hers, the word “one” is a big one. It made me try to think on why it is so. I still haven’t come to any conclusions – if you have any guess on it, please tell me.
Surprises? Just one really. Breasts. I know I mentioned it in one of my most recent posts where I share a vocabulary activity I used with my students for reviewing parts of the body, and had to teach my students the proper word for that specific part of a woman’s body. But did that single mention make it eligible for being in my word cloud? Or have I mentioned it in other posts and can’t remember?
What about you? Up to the challenge? Join in!