Archive for the ‘Tools4clil lounge’ Category


HAPPY EVER AFTER… with best memories from Belfast

April 17, 2014

On the 7th of April “Tools for CLIL teachers” project team gathered in Belfast for their final meeting. For three busy days the team enjoyed the working atmosphere and the hospitality of the Belfast campus of The University of Ulster. As usual, Kent navigated the team directly and clearly towards the goals of the meeting, with everyone accounting for their past activities and presenting plans for the final months of the project action. Perfection has no limit – this can be easily said about Caoimhin’s (Skye) attitude towards the software of the project. We must always be alert not to miss one of his latest improvements, which can be seen as far and away from the initial obligations of the project, with the clilstore system even user-friendlier than we expected it to be. It is obvious that the project outcomes have a good future ahead, as we enjoy the growing number of units in the Clilstore, created by our end-users.

Ailbhe Ó Corráin – Director of the Irish and Celtic Studies Research Institute

Ailbhe Ó Corráin – Director of the Irish and Celtic Studies Research Institute

The project team was warmly welcomed by Professor Ailbhe Ó Corráin – Director of the Irish and Celtic Studies Research Institute and Professor Alastair Adair – Provost of the Belfast Campus of the University. This kind attention from the part of the university authorities demonstrate overall positive attitude and support for IT tools in language teaching and the use of the software developed by the project in order to boost the learning of Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages.

Prof. Alastair Adair – Provost of the Belfast Campus of the University

Prof. Alastair Adair – Provost of the Belfast Campus of the University

There is no doubt that the project website and all social networks will be active after the end of the project lifetime. Not only because other projects of family have been using them and there is always a new one at the end of the line. We have just announced a call for Tools on-line courses and during the first hours at least 5 participants, coming from Luxembourg, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, and France have registered. Long live Tools4CLIL!!!


Tools’ boat moves forward

May 28, 2013

IMG_0047The Tools project for CLIL methods is successfully moving towards its final goal – to create a free online service, where language teachers can author online multimedia learning units, where all words in a text are automatically linked to online dictionaries in +100 languages. The system has been functioning for more than a year now, and the project team has been testing it with various target groups in their own institutions as well as in numerous international conferences, workshops and other events. The interface of the Clilstore was the most important issue for several months. The project team has the ambition to make it user friendly in both ways – functional and visual. The software developer Caoimhín Ó Donnaíle (SMO expert on PHP and JavaScript programming) was compiling the website system layers mainly based on PHP coding with Javascript to enhance the user interface. Together with Lone Olstrup from SDE they were also renovating the design layout of the pages. The final version of the interface design was voted on in Valencia meeting by the Tools team. Now the system has acquired its final look, while at the same time Caoimhín is still polishing and optimizing the function details. E.g. a problem with Arabic script had occurred, because the letters looked too small, almost impossible to read, if the system used unique Times New Roman for all languages. Now it is possible to enlarge the font of the text for Arabic.  With finalizing the interface of the Clilstore, the time has come for Kent Andersen to create the DYI video, which will be translated into partner languages. With this video, which will be available on Youtube and in project website after June 10, language teachers will easily create their own exercises. Moreover, the course book as teacher’s manual is on its way and will be ready by the end of summer.


“Building Image and Presence”

May 17, 2012

The first external evaluation report has been presented by Angelica L. Bucur, Ec. MBA, the external evaluator for the Tools project.

Angelica L. Bucur says that the project is working “towards building image and presence”, which is one of the strong sides of the partnership, according to the evaluator.

“The project has demonstrated very good progress during the period January 1st – May 15th 2012, based on consistent project management and quality assurance activities and tools. The first results and achievements have been in very good relationship with the original planning. There are already a few additional results, produced either by the partner members, by the teachers adding resources to Clilstore or by students participating to the project testing. The project was effective in implementing the activities of the first 4,5 months and in ensuring an excellent team building and a collaborative work-environment.

The contribution of partners to the development of outcomes was clear, and enhanced by continuous communication and exchanges”.

Read the full report via this link or from the homepage of theTools project .


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.



Caoimhin’s request to test

February 17, 2012

Dear all, this may be coming with some delay, but – better late than never 🙂

For anyone who has a few of minutes to spare, I’d be glad if you could go to this address – (the Manx Gaelic Wikipedia viewed with Wordlink), and look up a few words first with the dictionary “Craine” and then with “CraineTEST”.  Let me know if they both work ok and if you notice any significant difference in speed.

Both Craine and CraineTEST access the same dictionary.  The difference is purely technical (so ignore the following if not interested!). CraineTEST uses an entirely new method I have added to Multidict to look up words in the awkward dictionaries which don’t use “GET” parameters (parameters which appear in the URL), but instead use “POST” parameters. The new method creates a throwaway form and uses Javascript to get the user’s browser to submit it to the dictionary (so fast you shouldn’t see it). Craine uses the old method which has been in Multidict since the  beginning; it sends a POST request, fetches the results from the  dictionary, and relays them to the user.

I don’t see any great benefit of one method over the other at the moment, but it is useful to have them both in the “armoury” of methods available. The new method might be useful for dictionaries which can save user options, or where access is restricted to certain web addresses, or which require a login and save this in a cookie.

Caoimhín SMO


How to ensure that Clilstore users do not infringe copyright

February 7, 2012

We need a disclaimer text when our users create a new unit in Clilstore. My suggestions is:

Please note that you must not infringe copyright with the material you put online. The responsibility is solely yours. Please consult the copyright rules:

Following this we need a tick box followed by this text: “I have the right to use the material (text, graphics, and video) and to put it online. “

Please comment and give better suggestions


New blog for TOOLS project

January 26, 2012

This is the last working day of the kick-off meeting for the new TOOLS Project. It’s also the first day of this blog. We aim to post some examples of good materials here.