Rewordify is a new free site developed by Neil Goldman, a high school special education teacher in Illinois. He’s used his prior computer programming experience to build — from scratch — a tool that lets you copy and paste any text (or any type in any website), automatically identifies more challenging words, and then provides simplified words to replace them. Depending upon the settings you choose, those simplified words can replace the actual ones, be able to be seen with a click of the mouse, or be shown next to them. It seems extremely sophisticated, and I was surprised at the accuracy of the simplified word choices. The definition is not just shown, as some other sites do.
But that’s not all. The site also allows teachers to automatically created a number of learning activities related to the text that can be printed-out for students to complete.
I think Rewordify has a lot of potential — especially for Beginning and Early Intermediate English Language Learners.
I do have two concerns that I’ve shared with Neil.
One, is that I wonder if it’s used with more advanced ELLs, could the ease of simplifying the text be used as a crutch by them to avoid looking for context clues?
Secondly, as regular readers of this blog know, I am not a big fan of automatically generated materials for students. They eliminate the possibility of teachers personalizing the exercises to emphasize what we want our students to learn. Neil is looking at that option to potentially include in a future site upgrade.
Even with those reservations, though, it’s an extraordinary site. As I mentioned earlier, I think you’ll be surprised, as I was, at its sophistication on a number of levels.
Here’s a helpful short video:
I’m adding Rewordify to The Best Websites For Intermediate Readers.