Computer - CLIL Materials for Computer

Computer - CLIL Materials for Computer

Using computers to work with text for learning language.
(each of the items is in a zipped folder at the foot of this page)

What follows is a series of suggestions for creating tasks using simple software and which manipulate text in a way that only computer technology allows!  Many, many thanks to dear friend Martin Belianov in Bulgaria.  When I talked about the kinds of things computers could do with text for language learning purposes and asked him if he thought he could programme something similar, he said 'let me think about it' and a few weeks later he had created some of these wonderful jewels of language software in his spare time as a student of Computer Science and then as a Communications engineer.  Thanks Martin!

Adding subtitles to video using Movie Maker

There is a short clip here showing how to do this.  You can read the tip at Macmillan's onestopclil online Teacher Magazine in the tips section.

Hidden Text

Another reading activity which offers intense interaction with the computer is the complete cloze activity.  This is where you have a text that is known to the teacher, but on the computer all of the letters are replaced by a symbol.  The student has to guess what the words are from his or her own knowledge of the subject and of language.

Click the file entitled ‘Hidden Text’ and start the software.

The text you type in should be bordered with the phrases and .  You can type this but you can also click the symbols on the menu bar to do this.

You can type any text in the window but if you type XXX where XXX is the word or words you want to remove, this section will appear as *** in the version of the text that the students will see.

There is a song in English – Octopus’s Garden, by the Beatles.  Click the right button on the mouse to open the window where you type your word guesses.

Now try to make your own text, save it and then try it out by opening the file from within the software.


This is very good for revision of material.  Students already have knowledge of some information, say Soil Systems in 9th Class Geography and the teacher types a text into the software and students must retell the text from what they know of the topic and the logic of language.

Imagine if you have a whole library of texts in a content area you can use for revision of language and grammar.  For example, the texts from Chavdar Zdravchev’s Test Preparation book for the Prep Class in Bulgaria has a large number of texts at the beginning of each test.  These texts reflect the development of the learner’s knowledge over the prep year.  There is a file here a text about 'English Weather'.  Try it out.


Questionnaire – multiple choice software allows you to create a 'test' with a series of questions accompanied by a number of answers from which students must choose the correct one.  They get a score and can go back and try again if they are not happy with their score.

Sentence Linking

Sentence Linking is a very simple free software for jumbling up sentences for matching activities. 

Searching for Words in Files

This is my favourite - SWF.  I think Martin excelled himself with this lovely toy for working with text.  It's a kind of concordancer which allows you to search through archives of text files, identify sentences with examples of phrases you're interested in, and them copy them all within their entire sentence into a new document.