Have you tried TextFX yet, or Get Inspired

If you haven’t given TextFX a try yet, you’re in for a real treat. This isn’t another ‘save time for busy teachers’ tool – it’s more like a creative spark for language teachers and learners.

TextFX is a suite of Google AI/LLM-powered tools that came to life through a collaboration with Lupe Fiasco, the Grammy Award-winning rapper (read How it’s Made to learn more about fine-tuning the language model and the prompts used). Even though I’m far from being a rap enthusiast – the only rapper I’ve been following to this day is Jason R. Levine aka Fluency MC (Irregular Verbs Rap Song), the tools could be precisely what we require for language-related task. They are based on a form of linguistic ‘tinkering’ – breaking down language and then creatively reassembling it in fresh and inventive ways. This is often what we do in the classroom, and they can certainly help add a creative spark to our tried and tested repertoire of vocabulary activities and foster our learners’ creative thinking through English (see CREATIVE THINKING: WALKING THROUGH WORDS). 

The idea behind TextFX is that each tool gives a text a different kind of ‘effect’ – almost like how sound effects work, but for text. It covers ten tools to explore the creative potential hidden in words, phrases, or ideas. The tool include the following:

SIMILE (Create a simile about a thing or concept); EXPLODE (Break a word into similar-sounding phrases); UNEXPECT (Make a scene more unexpected and imaginative); CHAIN (Build a chain of semantically related items); POV (Evaluate a topic through different points of view); ALLITERATION (Curate topic-specific words that start with a chosen letter); ACRONYM (Create an acronym using the letters of a word); FUSE (Create an acronym using the letters of a word); SCENE (Create an acronym using the letters of a word); and UNFOLD (Slot a word into other existing words or phrases).

You don’t need to sign in to use TextFX. Just select the tool(s) you need, each with its unique color, type in your word or phrase, and click ‘run’.

Remember the parameter that influences the level of randomness in the generated text (Generate, Simplify, Elaborate, and Modify)? If you’re aiming for completely unexpected results, set the temperature to ‘1’. 

You have the option to pin some of the results for later use, or simply click ‘regenerate’ if you’re not satisfied with any of the results.

When exploring the tools, you can gamify your learners’ experience by assigning points for each guessed word or phrase, engaging in a Humans Vs. AI scenario, or integrating the tools into other classroom activities like story writing.

If you’re looking to create or jazz up your back-to-school activities, don’t miss our

Live Session on Creativity in the Digital Era on Thursday 31 August from 10:00am to 11:00am CET!

Miguel Miguez from OntheSamePageELT, one of the most creative teachers and bloggers in the ELT creative world, and I will be co-hosting a practical and collaborative session on creativity and creative materials design. Read more here.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!

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