Sarah Kowash is an English teacher at Oxford House in Barcelona. She completed a CertTESOL in 2017 and has been teaching general and academic English since then. Her current interests in language teaching include materials development. Here she shares some ideas with your learners for using the GSE Text Analyzer.
The Global Scale of English Teacher Toolkitenables Teachers to create unique lessons that suit the needs of a student or a specific class. It offers flexibility in moving away from using a course book while still giving the class some structure. You can use it for lesson planning and teaching mixed skills Classes and evaluation of student performance.
Another new addition to the T.oolkit is the Text analyzer. But what is it? And how can it help you plan a classroom activity?
How the GSE Text Analyzer works
Imagine you are designing a reading activity for your class. You want to use authentic text, but how do you know this is the right level for your learners?
This is exactly what the GSE Text Analyzer was developed for. It checks external texts from 10 to 500 words and tells you the CEFR level. A GSE level is also generated. These values correspond to the GER, but with additional details. So you can see where the text is within a GER level. This is a great way to judge whether your learners find it too easy or too challenging.
The text analyzer also generates a list of words in the text that may be above the overall level and gives you a readability rating. It uses information such as the number of sentences and the number of words to determine how easy it is to read and understand a text.
Design reading tasks with the GSE Text Analyzer
Students respond well to the use of authentic materials. It’s important to find something that speaks to them. However, it is just as important to make sure that the text you choose is at the right level for your learners. To follow Krashen’s theory of understandable inputyou should aim for something that is just above current levels.
For example, if you have a B1 class, a B2 text challenges them and makes them feel like they are learning something. However, a C1 text can be so challenging that it actually demotivates your students.
However, if you’ve copied the text and pasted it into the Text Analyzer and find that the level is too high, there are several options to make your reading task easier:
- You can simplify the text to make it easier to read. The Text Analyzer identifies which specific words are above the overall level of the text. So you can change these words to simpler synonyms.
- You can also use this word list to prepare a vocabulary pre-study assignment before continuing with the reading exercise.
- You can also adjust the difficulty of the questions. When the text is at a higher level, you can come up with simpler questions that focus on the essentials and scanning for specific information.
- If a text is lower than its level, your questions may be more difficult, e.g. B. Questions that use synonyms or the tone and attitude of the author.
Using the GSE Text Analyzer for reflective writing tasks
The Text Analyzer is a powerful tool that can be used to alert students to their own writing level. In higher-level exam prep courses, one of the biggest challenges is getting students to use the vocabulary they have learned to display a wider range of languages and get a higher grade on writing. How can the Text Analyzer help in a writing workshop?
First present the texts B1, B2, C1 to the students and ask them to identify the differences between the individual levels. Point out aspects of each text, such as: B. the different lengths of sentences as well as the scope and complexity of the vocabulary. Students can then predict what level their own writing would attain and do their own writing through the text analyzer to see if their prediction is correct. You can even expand this writing activity to one ipsative evaluationwhere students measure their success against their previous results.
Grade your language with the GSE Text Analyzer
Assessing your language effectively can be a real challenge for teachers, especially when teaching groups with mixed skills. The Text Analyzer is a helpful way to review your written and oral instructions and make sure your students understand them.
Try the free Text Analyzer today!
Learn more about using GSE
Here is another post from Sarah How to use the learning objectives to plan lessons backwards using constructive alignment.You can also learn how to use the Teacher Toolkit to achieve the right goal Learning zoneto teach integrated skills and help your learners Set SMART goals.