Monday, 24 January 2011

How to Make Your Own Pronunciation Flashcards

The Flashcard Maker from CEO has been around a while, but it is one of those really good free tools that keeps getting better. It enable you to create and print your own flashcards which include text, phonemic script and images that you can type in and add. You can then use these for a range of activities in the classroom.

To create flashcards, the first thing you do is go to: and choose the size of the flashcards you want to create. you can choose from either one A4 size card to 8 cards per A4 sheet.
Next, you can either draw your own image or select one from the image library.
To add an image you just click on the name of the image you want from the image library and click 'Apply' and it appears on the flashcard.

Next you can add your text and lastly, use the small phonemic typewriter to add the symbols.

Then all you have to do is click on print and you have your flashcard with phonemic script.

This is a great tool to use with EFL and ESL students.
  • You can create simple flashcards with images and phonemic script of the nouns.
  • You can get the students to create the flash cards themselves, as the phonemic typewriter also has sound so they can hear the phonemes as they type them.
  • You can create some cards with just images, some with just word and some with just script and create a great matching activity.
  • You can create flashcards with pronunciation mistakes and see if the students can spot them. You can create flashcards with one image and two different phonemic spellings and see if students can say the correct one.
If you really like this and think it's useful, there is even a version for iPad / iPhone which has lots of activities built in along with the ability for students to record and compare their own audio of their pronunciation. The app version isn't free though I'm afraid, but it is quite cheap at £1.79 in the UK. You can some screen shots here.

Hope you enjoy this and make some useful flashcards.

Here you can find more online pronunciation activities for EFL students

Related links:

Nik Peachey

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A Tool for Helping Students Develop More Complex Sentences

A couple of years ago I wrote an activity for students called Extending a Sentence which used a Flash animated website to show how a simple sentence could be elaborated to become rich in detail. The site called Telescopictext had a marvelous sentence which started with 'I made tea' and developed into a full paragraph, just click on the grey words.
I'm glad to say that this site has now been developed so that everyone can create and save their own sentences. Here's my first one and it starts,"Telescopic text is great."

Creating your own text is really easy and if you register you can save the text and get a hyperlink to it. The first thing to do is to go to and register. Then once you have logged in, click on 'Write'.

You can then start by adding a very short sentence. Then click the 'Start' button.
You can then add more words by slicking on a word, adding more detail and then clicking 'Insert'.
You can keep clicking on words and adding more parts to the sentence. If you click on the small magnifying icon at the bottom right of the screen you will also be able to see the structure of the sentence as it has been developed.

If you click on 'Fold' you'll be able to close the phrase up and then try it out by clicking on the word to expand it again.
When you think the sentence is finished, you just need to click on 'Publish' and after a few quick checks you'll be able to get a URL to share with your students.
Here's the one I just made: I went to class.

I think this is a great tool to use with students.
  • You can put students in pairs with a starter sentence and get them to keep taking it in turns to add parts.
  • You can see which students can create the longest single sentence without any grammar mistakes.
  • You can put in short texts your students have created then get them to edit and make them more interesting.
  • You can create a text with mistakes in and the corrections hidden, then just click to show what the mistakes are. Students can try to predict what the correction will be before you show it.
  • You could create also a create a version with some errors hidden and some visible and students have to decide which one are genuine errors and which are actually correct.
  • You can give students a starter sentence and get them to create short story around it by gradually building up the sentences.
  • You can use 'View Structure' feature to highlight the way the sentence is formed and the different parts of speech etc.
I think Telescopictext is a wonderful tool to use with students either on a data projector / IWB in class or to get them creating sentences at home. I hope you find it useful.

Related links:


Nik Peachey