During the ISTEK ELT conference last weekend, a delegate tweeted about a session that had activities with CuePrompter. Apparently, the activity involved a read & do version of Simon says.
It’s an interesting tool that allows you to paste any text you’d like（it doesn’t seem to do so well with non-Latin scripts, I tried with Chinese) and select speed, font size, and colour (white on black, black on white). While the prompter is running, you can pause, reverse, fast-forward as well as increase and decrease speed. Many thanks to Okan Önalan for tweeting about the site.
CuePrompter seems too versatile a tool to be limited to just a variation of Simon says. I brainstormed some other applications for it which would extend its use across other skills.
- Ask Ss skim a text to answer a linear sequence of questions. Since the text disappears after a couple of seconds, Ss will be compelled (hopefully) to skim. This could also be a good exercise to help Ss get over regression – where Ss repeatedly read the same sentences or paragraph when it’s not required.
- Give Ss a set of statements and ask them to skim the text displayed by CuePrompter to decide whether they are true or false. Alternatively (this could be useful for EAP & ESP contexts), decide whether the information is available or referred to in the text.
- Create a text that has synonyms of the target vocabulary. Give Ss a table or a bingo chart with the target vocabulary. Let the prompter roll and ask them to read quickly and write down synonyms from the text next to the words they have in their worksheet. Repeat until they get most of the words.
- Distribute a list of words to Ss and ask them to look up how they’re pronounced after class. To make it more interesting, you could run it as a jigsaw task and give out several lists. In the next session, ask students to teach each other words that might have appeared in their lists but not in those of others. Then, set the stage for a breaking news broadcast activity. Pick up recent news items from the net and plant words from the lists you have distributed. Divide Ss into groups and name them after rival news channels. Tell them they are competing for viewer ratings which they can secure by pronouncing all the words correctly. Paste the text into CuePrompter and have a student from the first group read out the text as if it were a live news broadcast. Explain to the Ss that news broadcasters don’t get any prep time when it comes to breaking news – they have to read from the prompter without making any mistakes because there’s no second take.
- Most creative writing activities allow Ss a lot of time to think and write. But, what if you wanted to encourage the capture of spontaneous thoughts? Create a series of prompts in a narrative (You enter a large room, what do you see? Suddenly, you hear a loud noise, describe it.) Paste the prompts into CuePrompter and puts lots of ******** between each prompt. Ss read the cue quickly and start writing using the first thought that pops into their heads. They have to write really fast because the next cue will come up soon. When the prompter runs out of text, get Ss to proof-read what they’ve written and then teach them some discourse markers to connect their sentences and transition smoothly between events and actions. Let Ss rewrite their stories as a cohesive narrative before sharing it with the rest of the class.
- A replica of the writing activity except Ss are in small groups and each time CuePrompter displays a prompt, Ss discuss it and collaboratively construct a story.
I’d love to hear your feedback on these ideas especially if you get the opportunity to try them out with your learners.