Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast

Brent Warner
Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language,

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 62: Google updates and the impact on ESOL & Opening the Conversation About Clozing.

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL, this is episode 62. We are your hosts, I am Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes, and we are just around the corner from summer.

Brent Warner
It is coming fast. This is my last episode before summer vacation. So that’s nice for me. And Ixchell, you’re making some changes as well.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, I’m gonna be temporary supervisor for the next few months. So it’s a new area of work that I’ll be doing. And I’m excited about that

Brent Warner
Miss Manager. There’ll be everything, it’ll

Ixchell Reyes
be great. That will be amazing.

Brent Warner
So I was kind of laughing to myself, Ixchell, I didn’t I didn’t mention this in the pre show. But, you know, we made this big announcement. And we’re like, Hey, we’re kind of shifting gears a little bit and all this stuff. And then the first episode back were like, super digging into like, like probably the most tech related episode we have done in a while. So we’re still committed to that change. We’re so we are still open. The whole idea, of course, is that it’s open, right that we can we can have the choice to make to talk about what we need to and want to talk about, but I was just kind of laughing because I’m like, Oh, well, maybe we’ll be doing this. Tech, let’s jump into technology.

Ixchell Reyes
But I mean, we’ll have we’ll have chances to approach other subjects. And so well, people will see it in a few episodes. Yeah, no, we’re here the difference?

Brent Warner
Yeah, we’ve got stuff in the pipeline for sure. So let’s, let’s

Ixchell Reyes
Dive right in?

Brent Warner
Yeah, let’s

Ixchell Reyes
jump right in? (laughter)

Brent Warner
Okay, so here’s the thing. Ixchell, we had pretty big announcements from Google this week? And like lots and lots of stuff, not Google for Education?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. So I was looking at their Google for Education. And I was like, What update are you talking about? But

Brent Warner
it’s not Google for Education. It’s like, like, just Google Docs and Google Developers and all of that stuff. There was tons of stuff that came out this week, because they had the the Google Oli I think it’s called like their, you know, the kind of their big conference and announcements and their their things going on. So a bunch of new stuff was announced. And all of this is mostly kind of, you know, we’ll we’ll talk about how it’s like Google Docs and other things like that. But it’s really interesting to see how it’s going to impact language learning and how it’s going to impact language learners.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. Accessibility really, actually, it’s, it’s awesome.

Brent Warner
Yeah. So a bunch of stuff. So I just wanted to kind of dive into them. And we can kind of explore as we can, right, which, which ones are the ones that are are worth worth talking about for us right now? And so I think the first thing right off the bat is a bunch of new languages.

Ixchell Reyes
24 I think? 20? That’s a lot.

Brent Warner
Did you look at that list by chance?

Ixchell Reyes
We briefly took a look earlier, and I was I saw Togo in there, the language, spoken in Togo, which I do. I have had students from Togo and that’s just amazing to that. They could, you know, search in their own dialect and and also, I can search, so that’s awesome. Quechua is on there.

Brent Warner
Yeah, there’s, there’s Kurdish, which is good that they have that lots of like, kind of languages from different parts of India. So like, I mean, India, so big, but like this, yeah, in Africa, it’s like, hey, this language is also spoken by 50 million people. And it’s like, oh, ok!

Ixchell Reyes
That’s just adding, you know, so much more information to all these people that may not have searched because they’re more comfortable. And in another language that they speak. Yeah, you know, that’s not English.

Brent Warner
Yeah. So, you know, I do not have a lot of experience with many of these languages, but it’s still cool to see that they are available. And I hope you know, like if I said, it does open up the opportunities like hey, this one student might show up and this is what they’re working with.

Ixchell Reyes
You just never Yeah, you just never know even if it’s the fact that this is now reaching like I’m looking at the list and one of the new languages added is it’s I Mata, which is it says here from Bolivia, Chile and Peru, and it’s only 2 million people. But that’s 2 million people that couldn’t access before. Right? So that’s a lot of people. Yeah.

Brent Warner
So it’s very cool that all these languages are coming. And then you know, Google for a while has had options inside of the Translate app inside of the Android phones or whatever they did that translate a bilingual conversation, I think we’ve talked about that in the past, like you can, you can put a phone down, you can have it kind of record and you talk to it. And it’ll say, like, what you say on one side, and what they are reading on the other side. So like, you and me, could be face to face with the phone between us. And I could speak in English, and you could speak in Spanish. And then for you, my English would translate across into your side on the Spanish and for me, your Spanish would translate into my English on my side, right? Which is pretty cool feature. But they did this, this is still experimental, but they’ve got this whole AR thing. With kind of the sequel to Google Glasses. This is the AR glasses with translation subtitles. So Ixchell, How would you describe this?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, my gosh. So you put on these glasses, which are actually pretty fashionable frames, compared to the to the first iteration of Google Glass simple. Yeah. And you’re just looking at a person you’re like, directly looking at him, they talk to you. And in in, you get an overlay on your end of exactly what they’re saying. It translates everything they’re saying. And now you’re understanding and you’re able to get under, you know, not have to look at a device and break away from the conversation. Because of course, we know that part of interacting with people and building those relationships is the part where you feel like you’re communicating directly with them, which you can’t really do with a with a phone translator, because I tried it in Japan. Before that, I went to a hairdresser. That was a like, it was a very specialized service I wanted. And so my hairdresser didn’t speak any English beyond like, Hello, how are you? My name is. And so he was trying to, you know, he was trying to explain to me something quite detailed about hair and hair processing. And he was using Google Translate and the words, if I wasn’t looking at his face, you know, we waited for the device to translate. And then I would try to translate. And so it was just it took a long time just to get to one specific item. And then there was there was really no interaction, there was no link that we were not communicating really, it felt choppy, it didn’t feel personal. And so I think that the AR classes is that what they’re called that new AR glasses. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. It looks It looks wonderful. I would just be interested in seeing the battery life.

Brent Warner
Basically, you put these things on, from the person looking at you, it’s just like, hey, you’re wearing glasses, right? But from you looking at that person, and they’re speaking to you in another language, and it just puts in basically subtitles on life, right? So yeah, someone’s talking to you. And it’s like, it just shows up what they’re saying. And so you can actually understand and so, you know, I just see this as huge for travelers, right?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, yeah. Right. And, and, you know, if there’s, you know, Google Glass wasn’t as popular for the price and what it couldn’t do. The price point was just too high. But that then pushed Snapchat to do their own snap glasses, which did catch on with kind of a small, small population, but I still see them around. You know, when I was in Japan, there were tourists wearing them to capture video. But now I can really see these AR glasses spreading, especially as a tourist, if you’re someone who’s traveling all the time, or who doesn’t have time to pick up a little bit of the language. Where if you’re doing business, oftentimes, or I would say in a in a meeting or something where you might need a translator, but you also want to real time No, maybe part of the idea of what’s going on in that meeting? Oh, this would be I think, I think it’s I think it’s life changing, actually.

Brent Warner
I mean, so the thing here is, what’s happening here, and I guess we need to respond to kind of the first concern that people have, which is like, the translates are not very good, accurate. Yeah. So that will always still be some issue, right? Even human translators. Yeah. But the I think what’s going on here on the backend of Google is that they have also updated their AI to be able to be more accurate right? And so it’s like this big boost of like all these things that are coming out together and is going to be significantly more reliable in you know, as as we keep going forward. Right. So I think There’s a huge jump that maybe people are going to start seeing. But this also a shell kind of goes into like my, you know, my warnings that I give out, I know, like, hey, our field jobs gone, right? Because you know, there’s going to be a big chunk of people that’ll say, hey, you know what this covers my needs, I don’t really, if I have this, I don’t necessarily need to spend a bunch of time taking classes because I just want to get the chunk, the core chunk of my work done or whatever else it is, right?

Ixchell Reyes
You don’t have to spend all that time studying and prepping for something that you might not necessarily use as 100% conversational language every, you know, all day long every day of the week. But um, yeah, but I also think then we could have the jobs correcting the translations.

Brent Warner
Well, I mean, honest to God, I think like I my first thought is like, this is Tower of Babel right here like this is the language is coming together unified. We can see each other this is, you know, like, the Babel fish, right? in Douglas Adams, right? Just stick it in, you can understand everything that anyone’s saying, and everything’s cool.

Ixchell Reyes
So, Brent, this reminds me of a little gadget. And I know that I probably mentioned it to you when I was in Japan. And at one of their electronic shops, I saw this little, just a tiny device looks like a cell phone, tiny, small, portable, and you pointed at the person who’s talking and it translates for you. But again, you’re still using the when I saw it demoed, it was actually pretty cool. But it’s still quite intrusive. Right?

Brent Warner
It’s like being a reporter, right? You’re gonna talk into this thing!

Ixchell Reyes
And so the fact that it’s just something where it’s a wearable, it just makes it part of your whatever, you know, your outfit. So that I think is pretty innovative.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna make a lot of changes going on. So. So anyways, it’s something to be aware of, to recognize and look out for, I mean, really start your start your imaginations in terms of how that’s going to impact your classes, and your teaching and all of these things, because there’s all sorts of implications there, including, like, I mean, I don’t want to go too much into the cheating conversation, but it’s like, okay, well, are, do you even need to be in this class anymore? You know what I mean?

Ixchell Reyes
Here’s, here’s the thing, though, could you really use them with more than one person? Let’s say you’re in a group, you’re having a discussion, would that pick up different voices? Would you have to isolate? You know, the one conversation? So that’s where I’m thinking that would like to see that? Because obviously, you know, you know, Siri can only recognize one voice or something, you know, you wouldn’t want it to have someone else use the command and then start dictating things into it or whatever other voice command helper,

Brent Warner
I totally get that. It might my common response to that though. Yeah, maybe not today, but real soon. Like, sooner that sooner than we think. Right? Which is, which is always…

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. So yeah, sooner than we think.

Brent Warner
So yeah, I

Ixchell Reyes
It’s coming~

Brent Warner
I could imagine it where it’s where it would actually do something like it would be range aware, right. So it’s like, Hey, someone off to your right is speaking that maybe smaller text comes in from panels? Like, yeah, as you turn towards that person, then their their text comes up underneath it? You know, I don’t know, there could be all sorts of possibilities,

Ixchell Reyes
And the would have to be laws made about people eaves dropping into your conversation. Is this a good? Good time to learn sign language? (laughter)

Brent Warner
And the sign language, for sure, actually sign language as part of this too. So like, with the camera one, I think like you can do sign and it will tell you what they’re saying in sign too.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s pretty amazing. Because everybody has their own signing style. That is amazing. The amount of data that went into it. Yeah. All right. So glasses, translation subtitle,

Brent Warner
The future is now!! I’m gonna put in some booming background music for that. Probably not. Okay, a couple. A couple other things before we wrap up on talking about Google here, but one, these have been rolling out and Ixchell you didn’t totally notice it, but I did because yeah, my institutional. My school these didn’t roll out until this week, but people have been talking about him on Twitter for a while, which is the emoji reactions. So in Google Docs, if you double click on a word or whatever else it is on the right hand side where you can leave comments. Now it lets you put in an emoji and I think I’ve talked about this in the past. I actually do this as some of my comments for students. All right, I want to give them a smile or I want to give them a thumbs up Oh, tried, yeah, like and to say like, Hey, this is good. This is working well. And I’ve been suggesting this to people. But the way that I’ve told people in the past to do it is basically make a hotkey so that you can bring up your emoji menu and then you’re going to double click on that hotkey, and then you’re going to use it. And I’ve been doing that for years. But

Ixchell Reyes
You don’t have to anymore.

Brent Warner
It’s right in there. So you –

Ixchell Reyes
Eliminating the steps.

Brent Warner
I do want to check. I’m going to look at it right now, because doesn’t have most frequent in there. I’m not totally sure it’s bringing up the menu right now. The whole manual, you can search, but it’s most frequent. So not yet anyways. Oh, actually. I’m sorry. That’s not true. That’s not true. What’s at the bottom here? Did you see this at the bottom? There’s a little plus button. No, that’s actually a plus sign. So they’ve got their own. They’ve got their own choices for what’s going to, you know, what choices they think are the most popular, but maybe as you start using them, it seems like there’s a choice of martyr, yeah, maybe more frequent or something like that. So that might get smarter. But anyways, emoji are on there, so you can get those reactions. And again, we’ve talked about that in the past that sometimes, you know, icons, and emoji can be really powerful communication tools for students, because they might not totally understand what you’re writing, especially at lower levels, but they can tell what a happy face means. Or they can tell what a thumbs up means. Right? And so you don’t necessarily need to use all of the developed language to communicate a feeling or or, you know, express a, an emotion towards those students as well. So I really liked that as a new tool inside of here.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, that’s great. Next up, yeah. Well, the other one, I saw I was watching the keynote. And the next one is pretty cool. It’s it hasn’t rolled out to me yet. But this is autogenerated summaries. So basically open up a Google Doc, and it’s got writing in it, whatever it is an essay, an article, text, whatever, you paste it on there. And on the left hand side, there is a menu where you can, you know, go through the headings, but now there’s a little section that says some summary. And when you click there, when you click there, once it’s enabled for you, once it rolls out for you, it will summarize auto summarize your document. And that is pretty freakin awesome. That is a student’s dream, and also mine because it’s efficient if you don’t want to read a lot of stuff, or if you just, you know, want to scan. Oh, I don’t know, I’m amazed. I can’t wait till it rolls out for me.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so it seems I mean, I’ll point out a couple of things. One, it seems to be like a few sentences. So it’s not the whole, like, it’s not the whole, like, let’s paraphrase this thing and turn it into another document of the same thing. Although that might be right around the corner. What I saw was like, you have like a five or six page document, and it gives you three or four sentences to just kind of explain what it what it’s basically about, right? Yeah, but that can very easily because we’ve already talked about these in the past, right, these summarizer tools that can kind of do more of a paraphrasing, or, or simplify a lot of the language or those types of things. And so it seems that there’s kind of the the TLDR option here. Yeah. And so you’re just gonna go, Hey, what is this about? How can that help me and so that can also be really great for your students, though, because if you give them a longer document, and they just want to get their head in the right space beforehand, you don’t have to write that summary, right? You know, as a teacher, a lot of times I would set my students up this is about this and this and this right? And so now it’s like, oh, it’s just go take a look at that and then figure it out for yourself as you’re going through. So that auto generated summary. Again, it’s not available for everybody right now, but it seems like it’s going to be coming soon or it’s rolling. You know, a lot of these things have been rolling out over the last several days into some of Google’s hard to know when they’re rolling out to who they just kind of seem to pick and choose randomly. I don’t know what the what the right but some of these have come out for me in the last week or so and so I am getting access to more of them and other people were posting about them last week or the week before so I’m not sure when that auto summarizer will come I don’t have it yet either. But it is a cool feature there and so that that’s something that I think a lot of students can benefit from as well. Um, last thing here Ixchell, I tweeted about this. You mentioned the same thing, which is that it’s recognizing now Regional English right and So, I actually I have my students, you know, we read a British book in our class this this semester. And so some of my students are picking up on the language that’s going on in the book. And they’re using kind of British ways of expressing things through their reading. I’m like, Okay, that’s cool, because it shows me that you are watching this, and you’re, you know, like, you’re paying attention to that language. But at the same time, I’m like, Well, we’re also dealing with American English and trying to get along with those. So. So one of the things the example that my students wrote was talking about math, but they kept saying maths. And so, so they’re like, oh, yeah, the student is going to be doing the a level maths and something like that. And so what I went, I went into look at their document, and I highlighted the word it had a red underline, and I’m like, That’s not misspelled, but it is it is British English. And so I was like, that’s a little weird. So I clicked on it. And it showed up, and it said, Hey, you’re writing in American English, but this is British English. Like, do you want to change your, your language style? And I’m like, Whoa, that’s I’ve never seen that. It’s cool. Yeah, so it’s actually recognizing regional language. It’s recognizing where it’s coming from. And then if you have your settings set to be, hey, I’m in America, I’m using American English, then it will point out like, hey, probably an American wouldn’t say this, but maybe a British person would or Australian person or whatever else. It is so fascinating.

Ixchell Reyes
Brett, I liked that it has it included, because I’ve had students who come in and their other teachers, not their language teachers, but their university regular whatever course subject, teachers mark them wrong for the spelling, but in fact, it’s not wrong. It’s just we don’t use I hear. So students sometimes will tell me, but I was told this wrong and it’s not wrong. It’s like, well, you’re not wrong. So now it sort of validates that. Okay, you just have to know that. It’s both. Yeah. Well, spelling, so that’s okay.

Brent Warner
Yeah, like spelling color with a U or

Ixchell Reyes
Fa-vou-rite. Canceled with a double L anybody?

Brent Warner
Since we have listeners in England, we should say that we’re wrong. America is wrong. And you will get notified about that later, I guess. Yeah, but But no, it’s it’s worth the students knowing regardless of where they’re from, right. So like they, because it’s a question of recognizing who your audience is in your writing. And so we talk about that with our students a lot, right? And so they’re gonna, they want to most of them want to ideally present to their recognized audience. And in our context, that’s America, but it could be you know, any other country and might want to make changes depending on that as well. So, right. So it’s just nice, another tool for students to be able to access and quickly look at and make changes and understand some of the differences as they’re continuing to develop their language. But a lot of these you know, again, Ixchell, I think we wanted to bring this up, because they just have far reaching implications about the future of language study. And like, Okay, well, if the computer can do this for me automatically. And if my glasses can translate for me, and if the Google Docs can summarize for me, and it can already check my grammar, and it can do this and this, like, all right, cool. Am I what point am I going to make the decision to say, like, am I studying English? for what purposes? Right? Like, is it for my joy? Wonderful, okay, I really appreciate that. Is it for my business that I’m going to be using, like, once a year, maybe I won’t be taking these classes so much anymore, right. And so I, you know, I don’t like being the Doom Slayer. But, uh, and you know, like, you and I have had a little bit of some disagreements on like, what this is gonna be long term for us, which is totally cool. And it’s interesting to see. But I also just see like, Okay, well, you know, like, maybe I’ll move along, maybe I don’t need to spend that time if I can get my idea across now, right.

Ixchell Reyes
This means you have to be flexible and how we view the tools that we’re using. Because if we get stuck on, like, for example, I sometimes have a hard time envisioning what you see, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. By any means. It means I have gotten so used to something I’m uncomfortable with change.

Brent Warner
Well, and also we’re gonna say that you might we as teachers will probably end up shifting our focus as we’re talking about language, right? Well, we’ll probably end up talking about breaking down fine ideas and how to communicate more complicated concepts right, or, or, you know, there’s all sorts of ways that we can make these changes, but I’m just my thought is just like, if you’re a language teacher, start thinking about what your future language teaching might look like. Recognizing that many of these skills might become automated for our students, not everything. But I think a lot of us are, we’re gonna get into his critical thinking and how the way that our language works affects the way that we see the world and the way that we communicate. As always, we are grateful for your support of the show. Ixchell, we got a new supporter, Casey Chung, who is a colleague of mine,

Ixchell Reyes
Woo hoo! Hi Casey! Thank you, Casey!

Brent Warner
Yeah, very nice. And we appreciate the support. As, as always, we’re grateful for anyone who’s listening, sharing the show, and whatever else like it’s just nice. Thank you so much. We got some really kind feedback. Yeah, a few people sent messages to you, Ixchell, I know

Ixchell Reyes
On Instagram and Twitter, there’s a couple. Yeah.

Brent Warner
And so people really appreciated the last episode, it seems like so thank you guys so much for sharing out. That is really kind of the, the ultimate thing that we can ask for is that you’re just sharing with other people. If you think the show is useful, so much appreciated everybody, Susan, Susan, aka Vaughn. Thank you, Susan. And we got a few other messages from other podcasters as well. So thank you, everybody who, who is supporting the show and listen to just thanks for listening.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, so cloze activities. Are they legit?

Brent Warner
question. Good question. So this kind of came up. Eric Kurtz. Do you follow Eric on Twitter? You know, he has a

Ixchell Reyes
handle, and it’s not Eric Kurtz. And I may have things showing up by the handle. But if but if I’m not, I will be now.

Brent Warner
Yeah, he does that like he does control all too cheap. He does all sorts of cool. Oh, and he’s

Ixchell Reyes
no, I am not. I am following him. Now. Is that possible?

Brent Warner
Eric’s amazing. He does all sorts of cool stuff. One of the things he showed up with recently was, you know, he came up, he wrote a post called cloze activities in Google, or I think he called it cloze reading activities with Google Docs dropped down. And so this kind of ties into what we were talking about with all the Google stuff. One of the things that came out recently in Google Docs is this chips, thing that kind of helps you automate and build your documents so that you can do a bunch of business stuff. But he figured out a cool way to turn this into a cloze activity. I guess we can call it a cloze, like, you know, like a chew choose, you know, it’s an elimination type activity, right. So what happens is, inside of Google, with this option in in, I think it’s insert, and then now there’s an option called drop down, you can make a drop down a little drop down menu at any spot inside of the Google Doc, right. So it’s just a word, and you click on it, and it has now it has a little drop down menu. And so you can make different choices. So you know, like, Hey, who’s going to bring chips to the party, choose the person, whatever it is, right? But what it does is it allows for you to create, essentially, like cloze or multiple choice or elimination type activities. And so he made this cool post, and we’ve got it linked in the show notes. But what it what it does is you can have a blank word on your document, and then you can click on the button to make a drop down menu, and then students can choose the correct word that’s going to fill into that blank spot, right? Very, very typical. It’s called, you know, an English, English language, equity, position activities, we call it, you know, fill in the gap cloze activities, you know, gap type activities, whatever else they are. So he made this post about it. And I’m like, okay, that’s kind of cool. It’s interesting in the first thing that I thought about is like, I’m like, I haven’t thought about cloze activities, as far as the pedagogical validity of it for a while or not, not directly. And in quite a long time. Although, you know, in the past, teachers used to do that all the time. And Ixchell I think you were saying that you when you were learning English, you also played with these?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, actually, I really enjoyed cloze exercises, because Well, number one, it just felt good figuring out that little piece of the puzzle. And then, of course, toward the end, you leave, you either skip the hard ones that you can’t figure out and they just eliminate. So that aspect, I could see why I mean, I could see maybe not as effective as you know, if that’s the strategy you’re taking, but I’ve also seen students who use it and they they struggle. And so it, you know, it helps them to become aware of what’s before award what’s after award. I mean, at least those kinds of cloze exercises that I enjoyed.

Brent Warner
So, so I was, so I was thinking about that a little But and then almost instantly on my, when I kind of shared Eric’s post there, someone else came in underneath me and was like, oh, so I see we’re doing, you know, these, this is what we’re doing with with Ed Tech is just old fashion cloze exercises and I’m like, Okay, I kind of get that, like, I get the snark on that. But that but again, like I said, because I’m like, Well, is this valid? Is this something that we want to use with our students? And I thought we might just have a little conversation around that because it shows what you’re saying, like the motivational side of things matters, right? Like, oh, yeah, yeah. Like, like, how did that help you?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, one of the things is, I always, I like to solve puzzles. And so it would help me to number one, I would, I would, I knew like, Oh, it’s a noun, it has to be a noun, because there’s in front of it. And, and the harder once I didn’t know, and sometimes I would work with a partner. And it just, I think it just felt good. I, of course, I can’t tell you right now, if that improved my reading, I can’t I mean, as I assess a child or as a language learner early, you know, an emerging language learner, I didn’t know at the time, but it certainly made it so that I spent more time with texts. So that aspect of it I see as valuable.

Brent Warner
Yeah, for sure. Because if you if you feel good about your learning, then it’ll bring you back to it right? Or it’ll, it’ll encourage you to spend more time in it. The other side, where they’re kind of evaluating the quality of cloze exercises, and there’s different kinds of cloze exercises. So this is a, a long and complicated conversation is very mixed, right? So some people say, hey, like, there’s, this is garbage, like this is not helping people learn. It’s just kind of temporarily putting something into short term memory, and then it gets forgotten instantly. And other people are saying no, this is really valuable. Like, it’s it’s an employing, you know, thought processes and recognizing how, how, you know, whether something is like intersexual, or, you know, all these different types of things. And I’ll point out here Ixchell, because this article that we’re going to share, pulls back from research on this, I think, as early as 1962.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah,

Brent Warner
on using cloze exercises for helping language learners, right. And so that is huge, and a long conversation. And then inside of here, it’s so funny, because it’s like, Okay, here’s all the people that say that this is no good. And it’s like, a long list of people. And then it’s like, and here’s the people who say that it’s like, so there’s like, no agreement.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, there’s no consensus, and we’re still using cloze activity. So there’s, there’s, well, I mean, I think that there’s value in using them, and you got to know when it’s appropriate. And obviously, not everything, calls for a clozed exercise, and not everything’s gonna be effectively assessed with one just as we would do with other type of assessments, we don’t use the same one for everything.

Brent Warner
One of the things that I thought was wild in here is they talked about this idea of basically just choosing every seventh word. So if it’s like a three thing, it’s like, every seventh word is gonna be the blank Word. And I’m like, why would

Ixchell Reyes
you do that? Yeah, well, I mean, no, you have to be very, you’ve got to be, there’s got to be a purpose in what you’re choosing, right? It has to be intentional, especially in whatever you’re targeting. I did, I did a cloze exercise yesterday with some student teachers, pre service teachers, with articles. So of course, the articles are removed. So if I’m looking at targeting specific vocabulary, of course, I’m going to remove those or if I’m looking at them, and if I want them to guess, from context and provide words that they’ve never seen before, that’s what I’m going to be looking for. But every seventh word,

Brent Warner
yeah, it’s so weird. So like, so they have this idea of that, versus I think, what they’re calling tailored, you know, tailored cloze activities, where it’s like, Hey, I’m being very intentional about the choices that I’m making. These are the specific vocabulary words, for example, that I want my students to learn. And so they’re saying that different types of activities are different. You know, if you’re being more intentional with your choices, they do seem to have I want to read a little part of this, right? Because they were the the language was pretty interesting, I thought. So they said, the findings. So this this study did their own one like kind of trying to see about these different types of cloze activities, and this was a scrambled one where they kind of have the the word all mixed up with each other. But regardless, it’s just kind of being intentional with this. So they said, the findings provided a strong support for the claim that scrambled cloze techniques and language learning classes does improve the participants reading comprehension and Paragraph Writing. And then it goes on to talk about, you know, some of the issues inside of here. But it says, you know, based on some critical reviews done in cloze related studies, some modifications in the clozed procedure have been made, and other various varieties have been proposed, which have been used in language learning programs. So, basically, they’re getting into the idea that, you know, I, I would say that the end conversation ends up being it’s kind of, you know, are you crafting this well, right? Are you? Are you putting this in a way that is thoughtful, and recognizing what the students are going through? And what, what the purpose of what they’re doing is, if you’re just doing a clozed activity, to say, Oh, you have to do something out of this text, probably not so much. But if you’re setting it up with intention, and with goals, then there’s a lot of ways to continue to play with cloze activities, and to continue to see how successful your students are with it.

Ixchell Reyes
Right. So Brent, um, we were looking at this feature in the pre show, and I thought it was really cool, because now the, the add on is called, chips, right?

Brent Warner
Yeah. Yeah, they call these chips. I’m not sure exactly like, the the it’s an add on, right. It’s built right in, but it’s like, oh, yeah,

Ixchell Reyes
that’s right. That’s right. It’s under insert. There. It’s already there.

Brent Warner
But yeah, we were talking about some different ways that we can maybe use this or varieties of this.

Ixchell Reyes
Well, what I was what I was also thinking, you know, those of us who can don’t use, perhaps maybe aren’t used using Google Forms as much, because you could probably do something similar. But this makes it right into Google Docs. And you could have, you know, other stuff, and it just looks beautiful. And it’s an actual doc, right? So it’s different than the form.

Brent Warner
And if you have, for example, like if you’re using Google Classroom, or any LMS, that can send it out, right, you can just, you can send out that copy the same thing to everyone, which is really nice. But a couple of the varieties that I thought of this while I was while I was looking at you know, Eric’s article, there is number one, I thought that you could do like glossing. So if you you know, when you write directions that are maybe complicated, sometimes we put in brackets like a simplified word, right? So, so it might be in invent, right? And maybe the student doesn’t know the word invent, but then in brackets afterwards, you would say make up, right? So let’s do it this instead of having students choose something, you could actually click, you could highlight the word invent, make that a drop down menu, and then the word invent would just be kind of like in a little gray bubble. And if students don’t know that word, they could click on it. And then underneath it, you could put in the simplified phrasal verb for it. So they could see that it says, oh, makeup pray. And yeah, you can put it in brackets right afterwards. And it’s not, you know, I don’t know that it’s one or the other is better, but it makes it a little bit like, Hey, I don’t need to look at that if I don’t need it. And I will look at it if I do, right. So there could be a little ways to play with that language.

Ixchell Reyes
It just, you just gave me an idea for teaching phrasal verbs, and how or having students do different types of vocabulary logs, or fill in filling in interactive word form charts where they create, they would normally fill one out and submit it to the instructor, whatever. But now, that could be one that another student can take as a you know, as a practice, right? Because it’d be dropping down. That’s kind of cool.

Brent Warner
Yeah, for sure. So that was great, right? So then they could work on it together or share with each other and kind of show those parts too. So I thought, that’s one way. Another way that’s very kind of similar to, to what Eric showed there is maybe putting in like, you could do a quiz right inside of there, right? So you can say, hey, which of these is a definition that matches it? Or a synonym that matches that meaning, right? And so the students could show their understanding of parts of the text as they go through. There could be lots of different ways to play around with that. So if you’re just start thinking, like, hey, if I could click a word and see different, you know, different choices underneath that, what can I do with that? So there, I mean, my brain is just starting to kind of think about what Yeah, but I think there’s a lot going on here, right? So if you’re interested in cloze activities, and if you’re saying hey, like I wanted to do this, but I’ve only done it on, you know, printed out papers and have students fill these in or, you know, I’ve done the underlying trick, but then students have to kind of to click out the underline and delete it, and then write it in, but then they, when they delete it, then they lose the place where, you know, like, there’s all these weird little tech problems that come up. And so I think this can kind of help tidy some of those up as well and give some some little bit cleaner options. Oh, and one more thing that’s cool about these tools show. The color coding. Did you notice that?

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, yeah. And I love color. Folk, you can be organized. Parts of Speech functions, categories, words that don’t belong. Oh,

Brent Warner
that’s a good idea. So yeah, like word families. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. So now I’m starting to think of things. So go ahead. Yeah. Okay, so let’s do this. So parts of speech, right, you let’s say you’ve got a word there. And the word is, you know, decide, right? And you get to say, hey, the word is decide. But then down below, you’ve got that same word three times, right. But blue means noun. Green means verb. Red means adjective, right? And they just going to choose which color it lights up in. So then they can you can see, instead of them having to write in or circle it or anything like that, they can just choose the color that it matches up with. So it’s the same word. But that color choice tells me that they understand or don’t understand. The part of speech

Ixchell Reyes
part. Yeah, especially for for, you know, for students who haven’t yet or they know the sentence, but they don’t know what the parts of speech are, and what function that is. I mean, you could have segments of a sentence, right? And you could say, Okay, which one of these is the adjective clause? And which one is the main clause? Or, you know, is it? My, my brain is just because I just taught this concept. And we had such a hard time because we didn’t have material for it. Yeah, that’s just, you know, that’s just making me think of stuff I could do.

Brent Warner
I love that. Yeah. And you could go in all sorts of different directions. And I think what you were talking about pre show to Ixchell, was it you’re saying, Well, you do these cloze activities, but the students always run to the easiest ones first, and then just fill in the ones afterwards. So what if you said like, hey, this one, I want you to do the red ones first. Because those are the harder ones, right? And then I want you to do the yellow ones. And then I want you to do the green ones. Right. So you could actually color coded Yeah, so that so that you’re asking the students to go through in an order that you have kind of predetermined for them not to kind of take the easiest path out of it, right? Yeah.

Ixchell Reyes
Now there’s a lot of stuff I could see right now taking from you know, the the paper book, the printed book, and actually turn it into something interactive that you can use over and over. And you could print it at the end once it’s correct. Oh, yeah. And the students would have notes you know, if the if the students aren’t you know, don’t have access outside of your, your, you know, outside of the classroom, you could actually just print it in there to have a study guide.

Brent Warner
That’s, there’s so much cool stuff to do with it. Now, this is cool. This is like this, like the highlighters. I’m holding a highlighter, yes, it’s a highlighter. If you’re a person who’s like, I’m gonna highlight everything, right? This is for sure. Something that you would want to pre

Ixchell Reyes
visual learners for complete the visual cues like this is great.

Brent Warner
Yeah, there’s okay. So go out there, everybody, please explore with this. explore those chips, explore that menu, see what you can figure out? Because and then send send us messages, like, hey, well, you could do this. And you could do that, because I’d love to hear more about or see other people’s ways because I think it’s going to be endless the ways that people can start to implement these ideas.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, it is time for our fun finds. And oh my gosh, brand. I’ve been telling you about this every day. Because my fun find is living five miles from work.

Brent Warner
Yes. You’ve been very excited about this.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh my gosh, I can eat breakfast at home. I sleep a little bit longer. I can come home for lunch or if I forgot something. It is amazing. I and you know, I don’t stay after work. I used to think you know, if I live close to work, I’m gonna end up staying longer. Yes, if it’s an emergency, but now I know that seeing if it’s an emergency. I’m gonna get home quickly. So I don’t feel as stressed out for having to stay for something or done. Oh, but it is lovely. I know that not everybody has that. You know that that? What is it? Oh, that luxury. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it.

Brent Warner
That’s great. I am glad. Yeah. For you. And you know, I mean it does. I talk about this a lot teaching at a community college. I’m like, shouldn’t the teachers live in the community that they teach in the community? Yes. And like yes, that’s ideal. Not that we can afford it especially like for me and in. In Orange County, right. It’s Oh, gosh,

Ixchell Reyes
that is? Yeah. And then on top, we’ve got gas prices, so I’m not filling up my tank every week anymore. Now it’s every week and a half and I am so grateful for that. It’s been See right now. So having fun with that extra time

Brent Warner
living close to work, I like that. All right, so my name is chili Kiwi Chili.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, is that a food? Is it a coffee? Is it a new book? a TV show?

Brent Warner
So I’ll tell you – I – this, this is a question. So when I saw this, I was like, this thing is either going to be awesome, or it’s going to be terrible. And I was like, I don’t know if I should buy this because, you know, it’s a risk, right? You’re, you’re like, hey, is this going to be a good thing? Or is this going to be a bad thing? But I took a risk on it. And I said, Okay, I’ll buy this thing.

Ixchell Reyes
What is it?

Brent Warner
It is a food. It’s Actually

Ixchell Reyes
Oh a Chili Kiwi!

Brent Warner
Yeah, so i’ts dried kiwi.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s what dried kiwi looks like? It’s not green?

Brent Warner
Well, I mean, with chili. It’s coated in chili like the chili mango, right? Yeah, you did call this earlier Ixchell. It does have that kind of like that Tajin you know, cayenne pepper

Ixchell Reyes
Ta-Juhn!

Brent Warner
Ta-juhn, Mixed with paprika, sugar, salt, citric acid cayenne pepper, whatever.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh my gosh,

Brent Warner
This thing is like because I looked at it I’m like, This is really good. It could be really gross or it could be really good.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, it’s not a Whole Foods item.

Brent Warner
Here’s the problem. It is from

Ixchell Reyes
Trader Joe’s?

Brent Warner
Nature to go nope – not Trader Joe’s the biggest problem with this

Target?

Oh, I don’t know maybe Target but – discount supermarket. (laughter) One of those grocers direct it’s like one of the – no, Grocery Outlet or something like that. Yeah. And it’s one of those discount places right? So they get like the stuff that’s like not selling very well and then they sell it there at a discount price or whatever else. And so I know I’m not gonna get this for a long time, like it’s at the store now but like when it cycles out, it’s probably not selling well. I went look for online. And it’s like 16 bucks a bag or something like that. On, eBay and I’m like on eBay like I couldn’t even find it regularly. So find it. It’s a company called nature to go. But if you’d like those chili mango or…

Ixchell Reyes
And you know what, dried fruit is expensive. Because it’s by the pound and yeah, so that’s a good find.

Brent Warner
It is five bucks for this one.

Ixchell Reyes
Wow, that’s Awesome.

Brent Warner
You know, it’s like a pound bag or whatever it lasts for a while. So chili mango or not chili, Mango chili kiwi. I was I was like, I took the took the risk and it paid off. And so if you’re interested in that, I don’t know where you’re gonna find it. But this is a product of Turkey. So it’s flown all the way around the world somehow. But, you know, everything’s flowing all the way around the world where world world market might have them. Oh, yeah, maybe something like that. Anyways, that is my fun find.

Ixchell Reyes
Thank you so much for listening to the show. As always, we still have pidns to giveaway leave us a review on Apple podcasts so that we can give you one if you’re giving us a shout out any other way be sure to tag us on social media we’re on all the platforms.

Brent Warner
Yeah, we do have a patreon and the buy me a coffee if you’re so interested to do that. I saw I did. I think I mentioned this before I need to go in and update that and make sure that Patreon is gonna be done but we do super appreciate it everybody so so I will get in there. I’ve got summer coming up. I’ll fix those things up before show notes and other episodes. Please check out DIESOL.org/62. That’s the number 62 Of course you can listen to us at voice Ed Canada. That’s voiced.ca And you can find us on Twitter. The show is at @DIESOLpod and I am at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m Ixchell at Ixy underscore pixie that’s I x y_pi x y. I Assamese thank you is Dhonyobaad. Dhonyobaad for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast.

Brent Warner
Thanks everybody.

Ixchell Reyes
See you!

What are the implications of Google’s latest updates and announcements on the ESOL community? Join in as Ixchell & Brent explore the possibilities and predictions!

Also, updated features allow for Cloze activities in Google Docs, but are they pedagogically sound? We jump into the research to find out. As a bonus, we give you Google Chips!

Google I/O 2022

Google I/O made a LOT of announcements this year, and many of them have long term implications for language learning and ESOL. Check out the links to find out more about some of the new implementations we discussed.

Cloze Activities

FUN FINDS

  • Ixchell – Living 5 miles from work
  • Brent – Chili Kiwi
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