Lextutor.ca is one of those hidden gems of the internet that teachers really should know about. I tell people about it, and they look at me funny. Then I tell them what it does, and they reply with “huh?”
Today I’m going to explain exactly what it is, why you should be using it, and how you can use it to create more authentic sentence frames and stems for your students.
To start with, Lextutor.ca is a series of softwares embedded into the site – www.lextutor.ca – which are tools in computational linguistics. These tools range from finding n-grams (how often a word is used in language, statistically) to concordances of various corpora (where the word in question pops up in language). That is the one that most teachers would need. The .ca in the site name is there because it’s from the University of Montreal, in Canada.
The concordance tool on Lextutor is amazing. It can compile sentence frames from millions of logged books (corpora) and present those sentences with how ever much of those sentences you would like intact. For example, I could search for the word transport and the software would search millions of lines of text to find me every written example of that word, in context.
Need sentence frames for words like classify, data, or graph, but you want the vocabulary to make sense and be in context? Look no further than Lextutor. Want to build cloze activity worksheets for free? YES, of course you do! Lextutor has that as well.
A small caveat – This site is not as clean as say Google. In fact, it’s very cluttered and looks more like my sock drawer than an easy to use site. But don’t let bad aesthetics turn you away. Maybe I’ll make a video tutorial to give people more insights as to how this amazing, free tool can be used in teaching vocabulary in the classroom. But until then, go, explore the site. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.