A set of free cross-platform authoring programs for flexible web-based CALL exercises

Myles O’Brien

Abstract

The Mango Suite is a set of three freely downloadable cross-platform authoring programs for flexible network-based CALL exercises. They are Adobe Air applications, so they can be used on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computers, provided the freely-available Adobe Air has been installed on the computer. The exercises which the programs generate are all Adobe Flash based. The three programs are: (1) Mango-multi, which constructs multiple-choice exercises with an optional sound and/or image; (2) Mango-match, which is for word/phrase matching exercises, and has an added feature intended to promote memorization, whereby an item must be matched correctly not once but an optional consecutive number of times; (3) Mango-gap, which produces seamless gap filling exercises, where the gaps can be as small as desired, down to the level of individual letters, and correction feedback is similarly detailed. Sounds may also be inserted at any desired points within the text, so that it is suitable for listening or dictation exercises. Each exercise generated by any of the programs is produced in the form of a folder containing all of the necessary files for immediate upload and deployment (except that if sound files are used in a Mango-gap exercise, they must be copied to the folder manually). The html file in which the flash exercise is embedded may be edited in any way to suit the user, and an xml file controlling the appearance of the exercise itself may be edited through a wysiwyg interface in the authoring program. The programs aim to combine ease of use with features not available in other authoring programs, toprovide a useful teaching and research tool.


Keywords

CALL exercise; vocabulary learning; matching exercise; text reconstruction; cloze; multiple choice

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References

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