Archive for March, 2012


Online statistics for the tools website

March 15, 2012

The tools/pools website now has links to ongoing statistics updated twice daily. Click here to read the statistics:


Tools registration page has moved

March 15, 2012

Because of lots of SPAM the registration page for TOOLS news has been moved to It now includes a simple Captcha to avoid some of the Spam engines.


March 15, 2012

Music can contribute to language learning in many different ways – as both a receptive and productive exercise. And musical product can be combined with visual media in an engaging and creative way. The slide show here was put together with Windows Movie Maker. And it took just two minutes to go one step further and render it as a Clilstore page

Island Voices - Guthan nan Eilean

Nuair a chleachdas sinn cànan cha bhi sinn daonnan ga bhruidhinn no ga sgrìobhadh. Uaireannan bidh sinn ga sheinn! Ma tha sgeulachd, bàrdachd, no òran agaibh, no aig caraid, nach cuir sibh thugainn e gus an tèid againn uile air a leughadh no a chluinntinn air làrach Pàipear Uibhist? Seo eisimpleir eile dhuibh.

Let’s not forget that a language can be sung, as well as spoken or written. Local Uist residents have been enjoying a series of community singing workshops recently, and sampling some new languages while doing so, including Finnish and Japanese as well as English and Gaelic. And local organiser Catherine Eunson has put together this short movie for Am Pàipear using one of the workshop songs as the soundtrack. See what you can do just with a series of still photographs!

Song, speech, or text. Still or moving pictures – or none at all. Just let us…

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CEFR levels in Clilstore

March 13, 2012

You’ll see that when you are creating or editing a page in Clilstore there is now a fancy new facility for specifying the level of learner the exercise is targeted at.

The easy way to use it is simply to click on the appropriate CEFR level:

A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2

(When you hover over the button, a description of the level appears to help you.) If you are not interested in technicalities, you can switch off now!

Otherwise continue reading… If your browser is the latest version of Opera, Chrome or Safari, you will see a nice new HTML5 slider bar which gives you finer control of the language level. I think myself that the six CEFR levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 do not give us a fine enough division of learner levels, and I don’t like combinations such as “B1/B2”, so I have set up a system where Clilstore stores a number in the range 0 to 59, where:

0 to 9 mean A1
10 to 19 mean A2
20 to 29 mean B1
30 to 39 mean B2
40 to 49 mean C1
50 to 59 mean C2

If your browser is Internet Explorer, Firefox or Konqueror, you will not see the nice slider bar – Sorry! These browsers only display a text box where you can alter the number if you think it is worth it. I am sure, though, that within a year or two all browsers will be supporting the HTML5 slider bar.

[Technical note: The slider bar and the radio buttons are linked together by Javascript, which of course will not work if you have Javascript switched off in your browser.]

If anyone finds any problems with this, or has any comments or suggestions, please send them in to the list.

Otherwise, you can have fun setting the CEFR levels for the exercises you have already created.