A yaer or so bcak trehe was a Grdaauin aritcle ctiing sopupsed reecrash form the Uvtrneiisy of Crdmaigbe on how we don’t need wodrs to be splet cerltrocy in oderr to gian meainng form ttexs, we jsut need the fisrt and lsat leertts of the reelnavt wdros to be in the smae plcae. The vairl eiaml taht seapwnd the aclrtie aapreps not to hvae been baesd in fcat.
(A year or so back there was a Guardian article citing supposed research from the University of Cambridge on how we don’t need words to be spelt correctly in order to gain meaning from texts, we just need the first and last letters of the relevant words to be in the same place. The viral email that spawned the article appears not to have been based in fact.)
This didn’t stop Stephen Sachs from creating a nifty bit of code which will do this to any text you enter!
You can find The Jumbler by following this link: http://www.stevesachs.com/jumbler.cgi
I used it with a class and jumbled an article on the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami – it was a moment of true collaborative meaning making as the whole class helped each other out in working out what the text actually said. I think they actually relished the cognitive challenge involved!
As it doesn’t jumble word order, only spelling, the texts are still accessible, and you could then get learners to “correct” the texts. We also did some lexical mining of our article. My other thought is that you could use it with vocabulary lists to create “anagrammed” versions of the target items.
But like any fun and interesting tool in tefl – don’t wear it out!