Guiding learners through the steps of carrying out research is never simple. Approaches need to be engaging, meaningful and above all, clear to students.
One approach to encouraging learners how to do research is by using WordSift.
WordSift creates word clouds but also does a lot more. It creates connections between concepts and words, as well as offers a suggestion of images and videos for students to continue exploring a particular topic.
Students can also type in (or paste) a small chunk of text and get further results/suggestions on the theme or topic. Below, is an example taken from What Is Sustainability and Why Is It Important?
WordSift gives learners the opportunity to interact with vocabulary in an engaging and playful way - as well as helping EAP students with initial research practices.
In some ways, there is a lingering perception that EAP must be dry, serious and "academic". After all, EAP focuses primarily on academic learning skills. However, learners still need to be supported and encouraged to undertake projects and manage their own learning - what better than adding some digital playfulness which opens up doors to learning?
What other tools have you been using to encourage vocabulary learning and doing research?