Word Clouds and English Language Teaching in Thai Classroom
Word clouds or text clouds are graphical representations of word frequency, which are shown in different sizes or colors according to their importance and occurrences. Recent research in English language teaching has suggested using word clouds for studying vocabulary, getting overview of students’ written texts, as well as engaging students to read passages. This paper, therefore, intends to examine teacher’s and students’ attitudes on using word clouds as a pre-reading activity for teaching Thai university students. The participants in this study were twenty Thai university students and an English instructor at Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand. They were asked to complete a Likert scale questionnaire and open-ended questions to report their attitudes towards word clouds as a pre-reading activity. The results obtained from university students showed that they expressed positive attitudes towards using word clouds because it was interesting, helped in creating learning motivation, and setting up an interactive classroom activity. In addition, the English instructor also reported that word clouds could draw students’ attention to English reading texts and could help students to predict what the story was about. Pedagogical implications and suggestions are proposed in this paper.
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