Timely and Targeted Content
Lingle's forte is in creating English learning materials to accompany lessons based on timely and targeted content. In other words, Lingle takes away the chore of finding relevant articles, marking up the text and creating exercises. Search on a topic, choose a level and find an appropriate article for your class. After that, you can choose which exercises or accompanying materials you'd like to print out and these will be created on the fly. It's that simple. Of course, the lesson plan itself - and the ability to use these materials effectively in class - is still up to the teacher. And, that's as it should be!
Lingle's greatest application, in my opinion, will be in upper level English for Specific Purposes courses. Teachers can find industry specific articles and help students learn structures and vocabulary with the aid of these tools. As a teacher of a wide range of English for Specific Purposes classes who hasn't always necessarily been a subject expert, I find Lingle to be an extremely useful tool to ensure that teaching is relevant to students' needs.
Automated Materials Creation
Search on a term and choose the level. You can even search based on grammar structures! Once you've chosen your article, you can choose which vocabulary and grammar structures to highlight. Saving a lesson allows you to automatically create a glossary of the words chosen, as well as difficult and topical word gapfill exercise taken directly from the article. Once you've created your lesson, you can add other exercises including:
- Free text - useful for open ended writing or discussion questions
- Discussion words - vocabulary for discussion amongst students
- Grammar gapfill - either by sentence or by full article
- Vocabulary gapfil - either by sentence or by full article
In other words, from start to finish an English teacher can create compelling materials for their lessons is five minutes or less. That's quite astonishing, and - let's admit it - in the low paying English teaching industry, a boon for time-stressed teachers.
The Bottom Line
Of course, automation doesn't solve everything, and there are a few hiccups. For example, in the glossary section a number of terms returned "No definition available for this word". Vocabulary or grammar that is highlighted when first choosing an article can be printed out, but are not maintained in the saved lesson version. However, these are minor points. Lingle saves materials, not lesson plans - how materials are used in class is up to the teacher.
Lingle provides fresh, topical content on a daily basis with the ability to save materials for future use. The time saved in creating useful classroom materials is immense, and will surely lead to more "on-target" lesson plans. The English language learning industry is moving away from general English towards more specific English used in the global marketplace. Lingle solves the problem of relevancy when it comes to finding appropriate materials.