Word Quiz Constructor (WQC)
In the CELESE program, there is a strong emphasis on vocabulary development, focusing in part on the Coxhead Academic Word List. In order to ease the evaluation of vocabulary learning in students, I have developed an application to create academic word list quizzes en masse and automatically from on-line and off-line corpora. The tool creates unique quizzes for each of the 48 sections of Academic Reading taught in CELESE, and can even create question banks which can be uploaded to learning management systems.
One way to make sure that students in the audience remain engaged while other students are giving an oral presentation is to require students to give feedback to the presenters. This, however, presents some problems such as how to exchange feedback. In Japan, students are reluctant to critique each other openly. Paper-based evaluations solve this problem, but then raise the problem of collating and managing the papers. Furthermore, it is not fully anonymous. I have developed an simple, easy-to-use on-line system where students can exchange feedback with each other anonymously while the teacher can monitor who is giving feedback to whom and how often. The system is browser-based and runs with server-side perl scripts. While the system itself if not open to the public, nor is it sufficiently documented for public release, if any one is interested in getting a copy of the system, please contact me, and I'd be happy to send you a tarball of it.
ESL/EFL teaching methods and materials
I have been teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language since 1988. Over the years I have developed a number of useful teaching materials. I am gradually in the process of updating and revising these. See my teaching page for links to these materials.
I always found the quiz game atmosphere to be motivating for ESL/EFL students. However, when playing the role of quizmaster, Ioften found it difficult (and probably distracting to students) to manage the question list, ask questions, judge answers, and keep score on the chalkboard. Of course, one could delegate some of these responsibilities to students, but then those students can't fully reap the benefit of the lesson. So, years ago, I developed this Visual Basic utility to use on my laptop in the classroom. The utility draws questions at random from a question pool and also keeps score. I found the games go a lot more smoothly with it---much less time is spent managing and more time is spent playing the quiz game.
Sentence Completion Test Maker
One of the instruments that psycholinguists often use to get a quick idea of readers' intuitions on a particular phenomenon is the sentence completion paradigm, in which subjects read a short story (maybe as short as one sentence) and then choose which of several optional continuations they find to be the best. I am currently using this technique in my dissertation described above. Since this is a commonly-used procedure that produces relatively reliable results, I decided to build a utility that will create the tests in ascii or tex format from an input file of coded stimuli. You may download it here. [Note: This is an alpha release. The program runs fine on my machine (cygwin on WinXP), but has not been tested on unix/linux distributions. You will surely have to tweak the code to get it to work on your machine before building the executable.]