Today we’re going to learn how to integrate Wordle into our Spanish classes. Has anyone ever used Wordle? Do you know what it is? What’s the topic of this Wordle? Looking at this example, why do you think some of the words are bigger? Smaller?
Wordle was created by Jonathan Feinberg in 2008. Feinberg created algorithms that create the wordles. The computer codes count the numbers of times a word is repeated within the uploaded text. The more times a word is used, the larger the word. He created Wordle for people to use it as a data visualization tool, or for people to see how often certain data was being used.
Here are some lesson plans for Spanish class. (Read the bullet points with the group or allow time for them to read.) Discuss with your class what you have in common or what you like and what’s different about you or what you dislike. See if there are any patterns.
Read the bullet points with the group. Have a discussion about how you could make specific vocabulary words or grammar points stand out if they are important in a chapter. How could this be helpful? What could students do with the wordle prior to learning the words? Make predictions and categorize them. What could students do while or after learning the words? Use them in sentences. Write stories out of them. Use the wordle as a quiz or a study guide.
Read the bullet points to the group. Try this as an example. Before the presentation, either create your own wordles or go to Wordle and print out enough to hand to the group. Assign them the task of creating a story based on 10 words from their wordle. Share with the group.
Read the bullet points to the group. Rodd Lucier uses this method with his upper level Spanish students. Students are required to write an essay at the end of each quarter. He takes the essays from the first quarter and uploads them into Wordle. The class discusses the frequency of some of the words. Students see which words are being repeated. Then their assignment is to rewrite their essays, but they must use synonyms for the high frequency words. Each quarter he sees an improvement in their writing and their vocabulary expands tremendously by the end of the year.
Create posters using wordles that you or your students create. Give them a topic such as Spanish-speaking countries and have them create a wordle that you later turn into a poster. Wordles can also be used as a quiz. For example, include countries and capitals of Spanish-speaking countries. Students have to match 10 countries with their capitals.
Check out some of the examples posted to the Creative Commons area of Flickr. How could teachers use these wordles in class?
Think about how you can use a Wordle in class? What could you make? What could your students make? Can you get several uses out of 1 Wordle?
Nicholson Online Presentation EDIM 510 Using Wordle in Spanish
Using Wordle in Spanish Class
By Jen Nicholson
What is Wordle?
• Website that uses word clouds
• Purpose is data visualization
• Word size increases based on frequency
• Created by Jonathan Feinberg
Lesson Idea #1
• Give students introductory survey.
• Complete in Spanish.
• Upload survey answers to Wordle.
• Create a wordle.
• Share with class.
• Look for similar likes and dislikes.
Lesson Idea #2
• Introduce vocabulary for new unit.
• Repeat important words.
• Assign students groups.
• Categorize words into groups.
• Discuss meaning and importance.
Lesson Idea #3
• Give each student vocabulary lists.
• Every student creates a Wordle.
• Exchange wordles.
• Choose 10 words and create story.
Lesson Idea #4
• Students write an essay.
• Paste all text into Wordle.
• Talk about which words repeat.
• Challenge students to rewrite essay.
• Use synonyms of most common words.
Lesson Idea #6
• Decorate your room.
• Include posters of:
– Famous Hispanics
– Works of art
– Spanish-speaking countries and their capitals
– Famous sites/monuments to see
Carrillo, E. (2012, April 7). Technology tools to use in the foreign language classroom -
Wordle. Retrieved from http://spanish4teachers.org/techblog/technology-tools-
Feinberg, J. (2009) Wordle. Retrieved from www.wordle.net.
Jan. (2011, May 5). Cinco de mayo [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Lucier, R. (2008). Top 20 uses for Wordle. Retrieved from
McDunnough, G. (2009, January 20). Obama Inauguration Speech [Photograph].
Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/5TSPaK .
Pratt Library. (2010, January 11). Pratt Library wordle 2: books and shapes and more
[Photograph]. Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/7uXbL4 .
Smith, M. (2010, May 10). 100510 PhD Thesis draft 2 10000 selection [Photograph].
Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/819DBu .
Vasko, J. (2009, March 28). Twitter Wordle [Photograph]. Retrieved from
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