What my Blog’s Word Cloud Says About Me and My Writing

 

 

Words to reflect on...

 

 

 

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. :-D 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!

26 comments on “What my Blog’s Word Cloud Says About Me and My Writing

  1. Vladka says:

    Hi Ceci!
    I also enjoyed Dave’s challenge. It’s funny that my “blog word cloud” contains some of the words that appear in yours too (except breasts:-)).
    Well, I guess it is obvious we are writing mainly about our job-passion!
    Hmm, no funny words in my word cloud :-)

    Vladka

    • Hi Vladka!

      I love this challenges because they make us step back and try to look at our practice with different eyes. I think we alwmays gain from it – whether it brings change or reassurance we’re doing a good job. I’m glad this one leaned towards the later ;-)! As for the funny word… what can I say? I stand by it as a teaching opportunity, at least my students won’t go around using other words to talk about that. lol

      Thanks Vladka!

      Ceci

  2. CoffeeAddict says:

    I love it! I so hate that blogspot is closed from Turkey and that I am therefore barred from reading so many interesting blogs, including Dave’s. I am going to check out Wordle myself – you inspired me! I wonder what I’ll find?
    :-)Karin

    • Hi Karin :-)

      I hate the virtual censorship and find it so pointless, a big setback. Just plain stupid is also a good description ;-) I’m happy to hear you’re going to do your cloud too. Please share what you find out!

      Cecilia

  3. seburnt says:

    Breasts! Hahaha. I didn’t notice that one right away (it’s too small), but I did notice “Shelly”. How nice that is!

    • I know it’s not that big, but after I saw it it became like a crack in the painting for me – it was all I could see. ;-) And Shelly being in it is not very surprising. She not only is a great source of inspiration for me at all times, but 2 of my last 3 posts were replies to her 30 Goals Challenge. But I thought it was a nice touch too!
      XX

      Ceci

  4. Marisa Pavan says:

    Hello Ceci!

    I couldn’t attend Dave’s presentation. Thanks for sharing it and for presenting a challenge. I’ll take it and let you know.
    Hugs!
    Marisa

  5. Luciana says:

    I couldn’t attend Dave’s presentation either, but you gave us a very good idea of what it was about. I’ll take the challenge, too. Just have to find a little time for that.
    Thanks for sharing your positive and fair impressions!

  6. Sandy Millin says:

    Hi Ceci,
    Thanks for the mention :) Yours was interesting too – I’m wondering how many of the words will pop up on everyone’s clouds. And in answer to the ‘one’ question, go to your home page, press “Ctrl + F” on a PC or “Cmd + F” on a Mac, type ‘one’ and you should see all the times it appeared – that’s how I figured out where it was coming from :)
    Sandy

  7. DaveDodgson says:

    Hi Cecilia,

    I knew you’d take up the challenge – I noticed that particular word also featured prominently in your word cloud. ;)

    Great reflection in picking out the positive adjectives. I for one have some to expect a positive outlook when I come over to your blog and I think many others would agree.

    Wordle only looks at your most recent posts (the last ten I think) which is why this would be an interesting challenge to repeat in the future and also why ‘breasts’ popped up. Lİke Tyson, I hadn’t noticed the it (singular to refer to the word rather than noticing ‘them’ ;)) until your comment sent me back. What really made me giggle like a schoolboy was the word ‘authentic’ appearing just above it. =)

    • Dave you made me literally laugh out loud with your noticing of authentic right above the “you know what” :-)

      Since about half my posts are my responses to challenges, it showing up didn’t necessarily surprised me either. And as for repeating this challenge, I totally agree. I just mentioned that in Marisa (Mtranslator)’s blog :-) Let’s keep that in mind. Thanks for a wonderful challenge Dave!

  8. Thanks for sharing this great idea! I think your word cloud reflects how interesting your blog is!
    make another one next year and compare!

  9. [...] like it. So I thought I would join in the conversation via Cecilia Lemos What My Blog’s Word Cloud Say About Me And My Writing and DavidD’s Every Blog has a silver lining – A mini [...]

  10. [...] Dodgson suggested making a WORD CLOUD of one's blog. Having seen David's cloud and Cecilia's Cloud and Sandy Millin's CLOUD I decided to follow suit! Here it is: I'm somewhat puzzled. Some things [...]

  11. Anna says:

    Hey Cecilia

    I love how colourful and bright your wordle is… much like your writing style. Some very detailed thought through reflections here. How interesting that group/s is so prominent… a wonderful endorsement of your teaching style I think.

    Also, interesting how ‘challenge’ and ‘goals’ were fairly large showing your clear enjoyment for pushing yourself to try new things and reach new heights!

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you for such kind words! When I write in my blog I usually do it in the same way as I would speak. This blog is a chance for me to have asynchronous conversations with so many wonderful educators around the world – not to mention a moment I stop and reflect upon my teaching. As it usually happens to most people, putting things down “on paper” makes reflection easier for me. So, thanks for the compliment! Getting feedback like yours only makes me want to find more time to dedicate to my box of chocolates :-)

  12. tubarks says:

    [...] today, I saw a post What My Blog’s Word Cloud Say About Me And My Writing written by Cecelia Lemos. In this post she describe attending a workshop given by David Dodgson [...]

  13. Cara says:

    I love the look of word clouds. You can choose which words you want to emphasize. Love the challenge!

  14. Lewis Froese says:

    This is a great idea for wordle. Cool to see how it highlights common themes for you. I’m going to share this idea and make using wordle with my students a priority before June 30th.

    My first read of your blog. Mine is more student and activity oriented, but maybe one day I’ll start a second, more personal or professional blog. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Gianluca says:

    Great post! I have already tried it out and I have got to admit that results are surprisingly interesting. They aim to outline the composition of our sentences, the repeated use of words which, in fact, draws our more or less marked tendency to the linguistic variety. So the more the cloud is made of little words, with a natural bent for a large crowd of different elements, the more our efforts towards an enlargement of our English vocabulary will be making for the right direction. As a student and passionate English learner I have been having much more fun to understand how to correctly link a word with another than trying to enlarge my vocabulary. Because I think the key to the language success of many students lies just on that, if I were an English teacher, I would pay much more attention on this aspect. When you will be able to successfully get to the heath of a language, there are no longer limits to your imagination. You’ll be able to present a wide range of topics without being afraid of appearing boring because, at that point, you’ll have dispelled many of your doubts about the language. It’s important to get the rules who preside over the making of sentences. It would be for me extremely interesting to read your experienced views on the issue just raised. Whether as a teacher or as a student I am learning a lot from you. Many, many thanks.

    Cheers!

    P.s. : Please, if you spot any mistakes, correct them. I would be grateful to you. Thanks.

  16. Deborah Kean says:

    A friend of mine has sent me links to your posts, and I want to follow your blog! I have already learned a lot from you. (I am a teacher here in New Zealand.)
    Vicky

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