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Modify Text - A Tool for Teaching English Punctuation, Grammar and Spelling (Homophones)

Updated on November 16, 2016
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Dr. John applies his scientific (PhD) research skills & 30 years experience as an inventor & futurist to review technology, apps, software.

There are many sites, and many tools for teachers to use for teaching grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Surprisingly, most of these sites are very good at the fixes and the solutions but few sites modify a given piece of text by removing the punctuation, capitals and periods so that it can be used as an exercise for students. Teachers have no way of generating exercises that are full of punctuation and spelling mistakes and which inserts spelling mistakes rather than correcting them. The good news is that there is now a simple tool for doing this online - See Modify Text. When teaching a group of students it often helps if the students are familiar with the text, rather using text derived from some general resources site.

The other aspect is to generate misspelling in a piece of text using homophones and frequently misspelled words. Homophones are words that have similar pronunciation (sound), but quite separate meanings and different spelling as well. (See details below).

For example, the following pairs of words have the same sound, but different meanings and spelling:

hair, hare

hear, here

their, there

bare, bear

Many students get confused and use the incorrect similar sounding words in their writing because the word sounds the same as the correct word. Understanding the differences is part of becoming a good speller. Students should learn about proofreading and good grammar skills. This new tool provides teachers with a way of generating exercises for students for teaching spelling and punctuation. You can add text and the tool removes punctuation, capitals, periods and inserts incorrect homophones and misspellings.

Below is an example:

Originial Text Extract

Punctuation Removed

Capitals Removed

Periods Removed

Homophones and Misspellings Inserted

All Changes Made

Great for Teachers - A Challenge for Students!

The advantage of this approach is that teachers can choose the text to use and this can be tailored to what is required for the students being taught. Staring with a familiar piece of text is a good way to teach punctuation. Simple text can be selected to reduce the number of misspellings added. For more advanced students the 'All' option applied to a complex piece of text will produce a real challenge!


What's the differences between Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs

Homonyms are strictly generally defined as pairs of words that have the same pronunciation (sound) and same spelling, but have distinctly separate meanings. For example 'close' meaning 'near' and 'close' meaning to 'shut'. But the term is frequently used as a higher level group word to refer to both homophones and homographs.

Homophones (literally meaning "same sound") are words that share the same pronunciation (sound), irrespective of their spelling.

(literally meaning "same writing") are words that share the same spelling, irrespective of their pronunciation.

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© 2010 Dr. John Anderson


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