I use a lot of authentic articles with my students, but it takes a long time to create a lesson with exercises and a glossary from scratch. So I was intrigued to hear about Lingle, which claims to be able to do that automatically.
WHAT IS LINGLE?
Lingle is a web based service designed for teachers and learners of English language. It is ideally suited for English as a second language (ESL), English as a foreign language (EFL), English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and advanced English literacy programs. Lingle helps teachers automatically find and build complete lesson plans and materials from authentic real news sources. It uses proprietary technology to automatically highlight grammar in use and vocabulary. From this exercises, and teaching materials can be automatically created, dramatically reducing the time to build a lesson plan that uses content relevant, real and motivating to your learners (source: Lingle web site).
WHAT EXERCISES DOES LINGLE HAVE?
• Free text, where you can write any question you like.
• Vocab gap-fill. Using either a single article or a list of examples from multiple sources. You can choose from a variety of automatically selected difficult words, topical words or add you own words.
• Grammar gap-fill. Using either a single article or a list of examples from multiple sources. You can choose from over 30 most common grammar points.
• Discussion words. Automatically selects discussion words based on a single article or takes examples from multiple sources. You can also add your own words.
A full set of videos showing how to use all of the Lingle features is available on Lingle's YouTube channel.
WHAT I THINK
I signed up for the 30-day free trial and created a lesson based on this article about the French election. You can see the lesson here. So what do I think? Well, the good news is that it was very easy to find an interesting article and create the lesson. This took just a couple of minutes. However, there are several problems with the lesson itself. Firstly, there's no way you can edit it. You are presented with a web page to print out. A lot of the words in my glossary were listed as "No definition available for this word". Moreover, some of the definitions were inappropriate (e.g., firebrand n. - a piece of wood that has been burned or is burning). So it would have been useful to be able to fix that. And gap-fill exercises are not exactly at the cutting edge of ELT methodology (although I have to admit to using them occasionally). Finally, a yearly subscription is €40. You can get a subscription to onestopenglish for €53, and I know which I'd rather have.