Fun with Texts and Textfiles for Fun with Texts

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Fun with Texts Version 4.0 is the latest version of Fun with Texts. You can download a demo of Version 4.0 from this page. See below.

We are aiming to use this page as a focus for the growing community of Fun with Texts users. See the Hints and tips section - which currently contains tips on pasting in texts from Word or the Web and typing foreign characters.

Updated 9 January 2012

Contents of this page


Register your copy of Fun with Texts

If you purchased your copy of Fun with Texts direct from Camsoft then you are probably already listed in our database of authorised users. If you bought your copy of Fun with Texts via one of our agents, e.g. AVP, REM or Wida Software, then we may not have a record or your Fun with Texts serial number. (AVP is no longer trading - since 2008). You can register your serial number online by emailing it to us via our Contact Form. Please include the name and address of your institution and a contact name, telephone number and email address. Your serial number should look something like this: 23450Q0W (Version 3.0) or 45670A0M (Version 4.0).


Upgrade price: special promotion!

If you are a registered user of the earlier Fun with Texts Version 3.0 you qualify for 50% discount on Version 4.0. The price you pay for an unlimited site licence is therefore only £125.00 instead of £250.00. This offer is only available for purchases made direct from Camsoft. Use our Contact Form if you are interested in this offer.


Fun with Texts 4.0: Description and prices

Fun with Texts is a flexible text-manipulation package that was originally developed by Graham Davies as an extension of its predecessors, Storyboard and CopyWrite. Over 3000 secondary schools in the UK are currently using Fun with Texts. A downloadable demo is available via this Web page. The Fun with Texts handbook, which contains instructions for teachers and students, can also be downloaded.

Version 3.0 of Fun with Texts has now been phased out and replaced by Version 4.0 of Fun with Texts, which includes a facility for enhancing the Fun with Texts exercises with still images, sound and video - see the screenshots below. Check out our Multimedia training tasks for teachers of Modern Foreign Languages, which include advice on creating and editing image and sound files.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1: Fun with Texts Student's Program with video file

Screenshot 2: Fun with Texts Student's Program with audio file

What does Fun with Texts do?

Fun with Texts is an easy-to-use authoring package for creating text manipulation activities for language learners of almost any age. It has been Camsoft's best-selling software package for Modern Foreign Languages since 1985. Using the in-built editor in Fun with Texts, teachers can create their own texts in any language written in the Roman alphabet, or they can copy and paste a text from another source, e.g. a word-processed document or a WWW text. The computer then generates seven differentiated activities automatically:

All the above activities are tried and tested ways of reinforcing a wide range of language skills. Fun with Texts can be used effectively with learners working on their own, in pairs or small groups, or it can be used in whole-class teaching in combination with a computer and a projector or an interactive whiteboard: see Section 8 of Module 1.4 at the ICT for Language Teachers website (ICT4LT), which is dedicated to text manipulation.

Prices

Home users
£25.00

Educational users
1-5 user licence £60.00
6-10 user licence £110.00
11-15 user licence £150.00
16-20 user licence £190.00
Unlimited site licence £250.00 - see terms below
Student site licence £250.00 - see terms below

Postage and packing costs are charged at the rate of £1.50 per item.

Note: The unlimited site licence (£250.00) allows the licensee to install Fun with Texts on any number of machines on one campus of an educational institution as well as on staff's personal computers at home while they remain in the employ of the institution.

The student site licence (£250.00) can be purchased by an educational institution in addition to the unlimited site licence, which grants the institution the right to make copies of the student version of the CD-ROM for any number of registered students for home use. The student version of the program does not include the Fun with Texts authoring facility, but the student can read any files created with it, and institutions are at liberty to add files that they have created themselves to the student version of the CD-ROM. Licences for institutions with small numbers of students are available at £10.00 per student.

Discounts are available for registered users of earlier versions of Fun with Texts. See our Upgrade price: special promotion (above).


Fun with Texts in the National Curriculum

Fun with Texts is particularly suitable for Modern Foreign Languages learners at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum (England), especially in the following areas of the Modern Foreign Languages Programme of Study.

1. Knowledge, skills and understanding

Acquiring knowledge and understanding of the target language

Developing language skills

Developing language-learning skills

2. Breadth of Study

During key stages 3 and 4, pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through:

Note for eligible languages

Fun with Texts applies to Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish - any language that is written in the Roman alphabet. It is also used in teaching Welsh.

OFSTED report

An OFSTED report, titled ICT in schools: effect of government initiatives (secondary modern foreign languages), compares text manipulation packages positively with word-processors:

The creative uses of ICT in Modern Foreign Languages are still underdeveloped, with few teachers seeing the full possibilities of word-processing for manipulation of language and drafting, so that word-processing is too often seen as simply a tool for ‘copying up’. Text manipulation packages are being used more often. One of the more successful packages was originally designed for less sophisticated technology some ten years ago. This is still one of the most effective, particularly with able pupils, but also with the less able, including those with SEN.
(OFSTED Report, June 2002, p. 4)


Download the demo: buy online

Click here to download the Fun with Texts demo program: FWT4_Demo.zip. Unzip the file and then run the install.exe program. After installation is complete you should end up with a new FWT4 folder on your computer, with one sub-directory and four further sub-directories - like this:


In the main FWT4 directory you will find two executable programs:

  1. FwTT.exe - the Teacher's Program
  2. FwTS.exe - the Student's Program

You should also find icons corresponding to the above programs on your desktop.

You start each of these programs by double-clicking on their icons on your desktop or on their names in Windows Explorer. The demo program is exactly the same as the full version of the program, except that a pop-up window will keep appearing to remind you that it is a demo.

If you are an inexperienced ICT user, please consult your school's ICT manager for help in downloading and installing Version 4.0. Our programmer, Marco Bruzzone, can be contacted for technical support at [email protected]

Buy online: If you like the demo and wish to buy the full version of Fun with Texts we can email a small file to you that will "unlock" the demo and transform it into your personal copy. We can invoice educational institutions, providing you follow your school's or college's official ordering procedure. For ordering information see How to contact us / How to order on our Homepage.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems

Some users have experienced a problem installing Fun with Texts under Windows Vista or Windows 7. The main symptom is this message, which appears when you try to run the program: "Threed32.ocx or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: file missing or invalid". This is due to the fact that Windows Vista and Windows 7 sometimes fail to install a number OCX library files that Fun with Texts requires in order to work. These are all supplied as part of the program and should be copied to and installed on your computer when you run the setup program, but the setup program must be run at Administrator level in order for this to happen. Section 5 of the Fun with Texts handbook lists the library files that form part of the Fun with Texts program. If you experience such a problem when installing Fun with Texts under Windows Vista or Windows 7 please let us know. This is one way of overcoming the problem in Windows 7:

Set up an Elevated Run as Administrator Prompt, thus:

  1. Right-click on Windows 7 desktop.
  2. Choose New from the pop-up menu, and then select Shortcut.
  3. When the Create Shortcut dialog box appears, type CMD into the text box, and then click Next.
  4. Type a name for the shortcut (typically Command Prompt) on the next screen, and then press Finish.
  5. Right-click on the new Command Prompt shortcut you have created.
  6. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  7. Click on the Shortcut tab.
  8. Click on the Advanced button to open Advanced Properties dialog box.
  9. Check the Run as Administrator option so that the Command Prompt will be launched with Administrator privileges by default, and then click OK.
  10. Click OK again to finish. Then register these files using the Command Prompt, typing each of the following:

The Teacher's Program operates essentially in the same way as the original Version 3.0 Teacher's Program - see the new, downloadable Fun with Texts Handbook. The difference is that you can now associate any text that you create with a picture file, an audio file or a video file, which must be stored respectively in the Pictures, Sounds and Movies subdirectories - see directory structure illustration (above). Fun with Texts does not contain facilities for creating and editing picture files, sound files or movie files, but you can use any standard packages for producing such files. For further information on creating, editing and converting multimedia files see Section 2.2.3 of Module 2.2 at the ICT for Language Teachers (ICT4LT) website: http://www.ict4lt.org

Fun with Texts is used to create your texts, which are stored by default in the Texts subdirectory. When you begin to create your text you will notice that three new multimedia icons appear on the grey menu bar at the top of the screen as you begin to enter the title of your text in the yellow title box, and that the title box itself contains the same icons, each with a red cross through the middle. The red crosses indicate that at this point you have not yet associated your text with a picture, audio or video file. If you wish to associate your text with a picture, audio or video file, you can either click on any of the three multimedia icons on the grey menu bar or select Insert multimedia file from the Edit menu. You can only do this when the cursor is positioned in the yellow title bar box - and you do not have to do this immediately, as you can return to the title bar box at any time in the course of creating your text.

The Student's Program operates essentially in the same way as the original Version 3.0 program - see the new, downloadable Fun with Texts 4.0 Handbook. If a picture, sound or movie file is associated with the text then the relevant multimedia icon will appear in bold on the grey menu bar bar at the top of the screen. Clicking on the camera icon will cause a picture to pop up on screen. You can resize the picture and move it around the screen. Clicking on the loudspeaker icon will cause an audio control bar to pop up. You can then play the audio file, rewind it, replay it and use the "slider" to find a specific point in the file. You can move the audio control bar around the screen. Clicking on the camcorder icon will cause a video window to to pop up with a control bar underneath - rather like the audio control bar. You can then play the video file, rewind it, replay it and use the "slider" to find a specific point in the file. You can resize the video window and move it around the screen.

Note: You don't have to use Fun with Texts' multimedia facilities. It can operate without using these facilities and all files created with Version 3.0 can be read by Version 4.0. A bulk conversion facility is also included in Version 4.0 to enable you to convert large numbers of files from Version 3.0 to Version 4.0 format.

 

Section 8 of Module 1.4 at the ICT for Language Teachers website (ICT4LT) is dedicated to text manipulation. It contains suggestions for use and worksheets.


Download the Fun with Texts handbook

You can download the Fun with Texts handbook from here: FWT4Handbook.doc


Textfiles for the AQA examinations syllabuses

This collection of textfiles has been written by Richard Hamilton, Head of Modern Languages at Cox Green School, Maidenhead. The textfiles support the AQA GCSE syllabus and have been developed with the co-operation of the AQA Examination Board, but they can be used with other exam boards too. These files are a development and extension of the earlier NEAB GCSE files. At Cox Green School, regular use of Fun With Texts has steadily improved GCSE results; particularly in the C/D borderline. In 1999 the school won a CILT European Quality Award for the use of ICT and modern languages and has been commended in three OFSTED inspections for this. See the Cox Green Case Study in Module 3.1 at the ICT for Language Teachers website (ICT4LT): http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod3-1.htm

Each set of AQA files has a clearer structure and is separated into folders of General Notions Vocabulary, Foundation Level Vocabulary, Higher Level Vocabulary, Phrases, and Role-play situations taken from past exam papers at Foundation and Higher levels. Now with over 320 Fun with Texts files (as opposed to 180), the AQA text files give very extensive coverage of the vocabulary required and the phrases are appropriate both in content and context. The role play files cover all likely situations and the quantity is more than enough to ensure saturation, particularly in view of the fact that this section of the oral has been reduced in importance. Certain cosmetic improvements have also been implemented; e.g. some of the very long files have been divided into shorter lengths for convenience (e.g. food1, food2 etc).

The basic format, with the juxtaposition of the English and the foreign language on one line, remains unchanged. Sentences start with small letters to emphasise which words need capitals and which don’t (this is very important in German). The English remains on screen at all times and the foreign language disappears to be reconstructed using any of the Fun with Texts activities. The user therefore is not distracted by any paper prompts: everything is screen driven, which experience has shown makes for easier class use. The files can be used as a reinforcement of normal classroom activities, for revision work, or for catching up after absence or moving school. Pupils normally tackle a textfile using a progression of differentiated activities: Prediction first, immediately followed by Copywrite Easy, Copywrite Hard or Clozewrite depending on ability: Textsalad has been disabled as there’s no educational value in reordering jumbled lines which are numbered!

Each language also contains a folder with all the Foundation and Higher vocabulary rendered as a series of cloze exercises for hard copy use in the classroom. This is particularly useful for consolidating ICT use, setting as work for staff absence, homework or for supporting pupils on extended absence. In addition, there is a folder with the Foundation and Higher vocabulary as a series of Look Learn Cover Write Check pages.

If pupils work at PCs in pairs, then their interaction can be an additional aid to learning. You can easily edit the phrases to suit your school and your location by using the edit facility in Fun with Texts. You can change font sizes and colour, too.

A copy of Camsoft's authoring package Fun with Texts is required to read the textfiles. You may use the textfiles on the number of computers as specified in your Fun with Texts licence.

Available in French, German and Spanish. Please specify language when ordering.

Prices: £35.00 per language - buy all three languages and get 20% off!

A multimedia version of the AQA textfiles has been developed for use with Camsoft's GapKit program, which allows the user to reconstruct gaps in text with the help of an audio and/or visual stimulus.


Hint, tips, materials, recommendations

Pasting text from Word or the Web

Pasting a ready-made text from another source into Fun with Texts is a great time saver, but there are certain things you have to be aware of. Microsoft Word files and HTML files downloaded from the Web contain numerous hidden control characters that can interfere with the smooth running of Fun with Texts - and of many other applications.

When you copy text from Word or a Web page you may copy the hidden control characters too, and these can wreak havoc! One way of preventing this happening is to open Notepad (normally accessible via the Programs/Accessories menu on your computer) and to paste your text into Notepad first. Notepad is a text-only application, so that when you paste in your selected text all the unwanted control characters will disappear or will be converted to visible "blobs" that you can delete. Tidy up the text in Notepad, and then go through the same process again, i.e. highlighting and copying the text in Notepad, and finally pasting it into Fun with Texts. We always go through this process, which is also useful for pasting texts from the Web into Word.

Typing foreign characters

Do you find it a hassle using the Alt + Number Pad keys or the dead-key combinations? If so, try using FrKeys, which makes typing foreign characters a doddle. FrKeys works in conjunction with Fun with Texts and any other Windows application. For further information and screenshots click here: FrKeys.

Printing an exercise

Teachers often ask if it is possible to produce a printed version of the exercises generated by the Student's Program. Indeed it is. The Teacher's Program includes a facility for printing a copy of any new documents that you create (see Section 2.6.7 in the Fun with Texts Handbook), but you can also print copies of exercises for completion on paper by your students, thus:

Start the Fun with Texts Student's Program and start your favourite word-processor, opening a new document. Call up a Fun with Texts exercise, e.g. Clozewrite or Copywrite. Start the exercise. With the exercise on screen - even in a partially completed state - mark the whole of the text by left-clicking with the mouse at the beginning of the text and then dragging to the end of the text. Then press CTRL + Insert (or CTRL + C) on the keyboard to copy the text to the Clipboard. Switch to your word-processor and then press CTRL + V to paste the text stored in the Clipboard into the new word-processor document that you have opened. You can now edit the text in the word-processor and print it. Here is an example of a Cloze exercise generated with Clozewrite, followed by a partially completed text generated with Copywrite:

Clozewrite exercise

Shall I compare thee to a _ day?
Thou art more lovely and _ temperate:
Rough winds do shake the _ buds of May,
And summer's lease _ all too short a date:
Sometime _ hot the eye of heaven shines,
_ often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
_ every fair from fair sometime declines,
_ chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
_ thy eternal summer shall not fade,
_ lose possession of that fair thou _;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st _ his shade,
When in eternal lines _ time thou growest;
So long as _ can breathe, or eyes can see,
_ long lives this, and this gives _ to thee.

Partially completed Copywrite exercise

Shall I _______ thee to _ ________ ___?
____ art more ______ and more _________:
_____ _____ do _____ ___ darling ____ __ May,
___ ________ _____ ____ ___ too short _ ____:
________ too ___ ___ ___ __ ______ ______,
___ _____ __ his ____ __________ ______;
___ _____ ____ ____ ____ ________ ________,
__ ______, __ ________ ________ ______, _________;
___ ___ _______ ______ _____ ___ ____,
___ ____ __________ __ ____ ____ thou _____;
___ _____ _____ ____ thou _________ __ his _____,
____ __ _______ _____ to time thou _______;
__ ____ __ ___ ___ _______, __ ____ ___ ___,
__ ____ _____ ____, and ____ _____ ____ to thee.

Do you have a useful hint or tip? Let us know. Email us via our Contact Form.

See these websites for further hints, tips, materials and recommendations:

St Clement's High School, Norfolk: An imaginative set of Fun with Texts activities focusing on Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles as an aid to learning vocabulary for furniture found in a bedroom and how to use the prepositions sous and à côté de to describe a bedroom. The activities also offer the opportunity to give Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles a make-over using modern furniture downloaded from the French IKEA website. The document appears to have disappeared from its original location but we found it via the Wayback Machine (the Internet Archive, where you can find many old archived websites): http://www.archive.org/

ICT for Language Teachers: This comprehensive website (ICT4LT) contains a section on text manipulation featuring Fun with Texts, including suggestions for use and downloadable worksheets: see Section 8 of Module 1.4.

Classroom 2000 initiative in Northern Ireland: Fun with Texts was one of the packages recommended for Modern Foreign Languages under this initiative. All state secondary schools in Northern Ireland received a free copy of Fun with Texts Version 3.0 under an agreement negotiated in 2003 by Camsoft with the Northern Irish supplier SX3. SX3 has now been taken over by Northgate Information Solutions, Hillview House, 61 Church Road, Newton Abbey, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT36 7LQ: http://www.northgate-managedservices.com. If you are a state secondary chool in Northern Ireland you have automatically been registered with Camsoft as an authorised user of Fun with Texts Version 3.0 and qualify for an upgrade to Fun with Texts Version 4.0 at 50% discount. Click here: Upgrade price.


Bug Fixes

This section is under development, pending feedback from customers who experience any problems installing and running Version 4.0 of Fun with Texts. For technical support, suggestions or bug reports, please contact:

Marco Bruzzone, Codework
Email [email protected]


For ordering information see How to contact us / How to order on our Homepage
For detailed information on all our products consult our Catalogue