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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder TheScribe

TheScribe is a specialized program designed for language teachers and researchers--specifically, for creating lexically sensitive educational and experimental materials. The software comprises a basic word processor, a word list manager, and a profiler engine. Two word lists are included (the Academic Word List and the General Word List), plus their associated word families. If you don't know what all this means, you don't need TheScribe.

Basically, you get text into TheScribe and the program instantly analyzes it, returning the total number of individual words (called "tokens") in the text, the number of different words used (called "types"), and the frequency of words from the AWL, GSL, and their word families. Words in the text are color coded so you can see their word lists at a glance. All this information is available in the main view. You can drill down a little further to see how the words in the text break down--they're neatly arranged by word list and frequency in a separate Words view. There are many other functions available; you'll need to read the documentation to use the program properly. Luckily, clear yet exhaustive instructions are available by clicking Help. You can type text into the Editor pane, copy and paste it from other programs, or open a Rich Text Format or text only file.

Teachers of English as a second language and language researchers should give this free program a try. It looks like it would be very helpful for designing teaching materials or research tools. One caveat: The publishers warn that TheScribe is a stable beta release: It's unfinished, but usable in its present state. Be sure to save your work often.

--Kim Saccio-Kent

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder TheScribe

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