At the click of a button

20th October 2000 at 01:00
INTERNET TEXT EXPLOITER. CD-Rom for text exploitation in modern foreign languages. The Usable Software Company. TelFax 01749 34 59 93,e-mail nicholas.mair@virgin.net. pound;54.95 plus VAT (standalone); pound;79.95 plus VAT (network)

Teachers, now confident at trawling the net, are still left with the task of formulating class work from on-screen language sources.

The Internet Text Exploiter is a practical and easy to use tool which, at the click of a mouse, effortlessly creates functional language exercises from selected internet or other source material. In very user-friendly mode, the CD-Rom shows teachers how to cut and paste a selected text and transform it into five different paper-based exercises. Large magenta-coloured buttons and easy instructions direct the creation of gap-filling, letter ommission, ungapped, word omission and gap filling dictation exercises which can be viewed on screen and printe up in different formats. Two versions of a gap-filling text, for example, allow students to work on printed-up separate versions of the same language and learn from their respective answers. Creating an ungapped text at the click of a button removes the annoyingly fiddly process of typing unnatural joined up text into which misleading spelling mistakes inevitably creep.

There is little scope for getting lost. The Help section presupposes relatively limited ICT knowledge. Examples of text in the different exercise formats give practical guidance on their classroom use.

With accents for three languages, the Internet Text Exploiter should provide teachers of French, German and Spanish with a speedy exercise kit whether from internet or book source.

Eleanor Caldwell is a freelance writer, teacher and co-author of 'French, German and Spanish to Standard Grade' (Oxford University Press)


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