TESOL CALL Interest Section

Software List

Deborah Healey, Editor


Author Plus

Machine: Win
Publisher: Clarity Language Consultants
Approximate single-unit price: 75
Purchase options: Contact publisher
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: This CD-ROM-based program lets teachers create several different activity types--multiple choice, free practice, gap fill/cloze, drag and drop, proofreading, and target spotting--with hints, a feedback function that responds to students' errors, an introductory text option, and on-line help. Vocabulary can be added with sound. The program uses a simple type and click system to make it easy to author. Exercises can be linked. Context-sensitive help is available on each screen. Request a free copy of Author Plus Lite at www.authorplus.com/freecd/. Win 98/NT/2000/ME/XP; not verified on Vista.

Authoring Suite

Machine: Win
Publisher: Wida Software
Approximate single-unit price: 700
Purchase options: UK£475 for the suite; £75 indiv titles
Level: Teacher For: T
Description: This is an update on Wida's established authoring range incorporating Storyboard, Gapmaster, Testmaster, Matchmaster, Choicemaster, Pinpoint and Vocab into a single program for Windows. Users can buy the titles separately or the suite as a whole. Authors can enhance text activities with graphics, sound, video and rich text. Students can use the notepad to give a comment on the activities and teachers can call up and respond to these messages. Programs can share common glossaries. 'Convert' facility automatically converts files previously authored with Version 2.0. Windows 95/98; not verified on XP or Vista.

Examview Test Generator

Machine: Win
Publisher: Pearson Education
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Test generator that works with Pearson Education Content Standards - sold as part of that package.


Machine: Win
Publisher: Camsoft
Approximate single-unit price: 47
Purchase options: UK£25; lab, site
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Flexible gap-fill/multiple choice authoring program. The teacher can copy and paste texts and clipart into GapKit from any application; create new gapped texts using GapKits's word-processing facilities; create gaps in any text simply by clicking and dragging the mouse; specify a range of up to 30 alternative answers for each gap, create multiple-choice exercises with specified or randomised distractors; specify if incorrect puntuation and letters typed in the wrong case should be penalized; include an optional 'hint line' for each gap; decide whether the hint line is to appear before or after the student attempts an answer; link a sound file with any gap; link a graphic image with any gap; resize the program window to accomodate any screen definition. A demo version can be downloaded from the website at www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/gkdemo.zip. See http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/gapkit.htm for more information.

Hot Potatoes

Machine: Win, Mac
Publisher: Half-Baked Software
Purchase options: free under some conditions-see publisher
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: A suite of programs for creating exercises that will run using a web browser, either online or offline. Programs include JQuiz, to make multiple choice and short-answer quizzes; Jcloze, to create gap-filling exercises; JCross, to create crossword puzzles painlessly; JMix, for scrambled sentences; and JMatch, for matching exercises. Graphics and audio can be added easily. Menus (and content) can be in English or any of several other languages. The real power of the program is that it is so easy to create exercises that students can create them for each other. Version 6 and beyond includes the option of subscribing to a web-hosting service. A version with all the features, but limited in the number of items in an exercise, can be downloaded from the website. The full version is free of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web. Different versions run on different platforms; check online before downloading.


Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: Software MacKiev
Approximate single-unit price: 90
Purchase options: school, district licensing
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, teacher For: All,Teacher
Description: Sophisticated authoring program with an easy interface and a lot of built-in graphics and other resources, including video narration, iLife® integration (Mac version), podcasting support, and integration of Web cams. This was originally an alternative to HyperCard; current versions have been updated and run on Mac OS X and Windows XP and above. Now distributed by Software MacKiev.


Machine: Win
Publisher: University of Arizona
Purchase options: free for non-commercial use
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: MaxAuthor is used by an author to associate multimedia with text to prepare it for use by students using the MAX family of lesson activities: MaxBrowser, Listening Dictation, Pronunciation, Multiple Choice, Vocabulary Completion, and Audio Flashcards. The author records separate audio for both sentences and words and has the option of recording audio in the training language only, but can also record translations or paraphrases in any other language or dialect. The author can either manually define the word and sentence boundaries or let MaxAuthor choose the boundaries automatically. Download from the website at http://cali.arizona.edu/docs/wmaxa/maxadown.htm

Mindpoint Quiz Show

Machine: Win
Publisher: Pearson Assessments
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Game show format with items from ExamView test banks. Use ExamView to create your own Quiz Show question sets. Simply create a bank or test in ExamView and have your students open the file in Quiz Show. Can be used with Pearson's Classroom Response System wireless pads, as well.

Question Mark Perception

Machine: Win, Mac, web
Publisher: Question Mark Computing
Purchase options: Enterprise-level; contact publisher
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: This powerful piece of software incorporates several of the capabilities of the Wida/Eurocentre series; you can have, within the same file, a gap-filling activity, followed by a matching activity, which goes before a True / False, or a multiple choice activity. You can collate student answers, and analyse student-results, either on a student-by-student basis, or taking the entire class into account. It can be used to make 'catch-up' tests for students who were unable to take a test with the others in the class. Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Server 2003.

TaskMagic Authoring Software

Machine: Win
Publisher: MDLSoft
Approximate single-unit price: 175
Purchase options: £120; lab, site available
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Easy-to-use authoring tool that allows teachers to create multiple interactive games and exercises from one set of inputs. See the website (http://www.mdlsoft.co.uk/) for more information, screenshots and free a trial download. Clients need to run the free TaskMagic Play in order to use content created with TaskMagic. This may cause headaches with home installation of the client.


Machine: Win
Publisher: Creative Technology
Approximate single-unit price: 40
Purchase options: shareware
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: A suite of two authoring programs, WebRhubarb and WebSequitur. The shareware programs are used to create web pages (HTML documents) which contain interactive language-learning exercises. The exercises are based on the Rhubarb and Sequitur programs originally developed by John and Muriel Higgins. Demo versions can be downloaded from the website at http://www.cict.co.uk/software/textoys/index.htm.


Machine: Win
Publisher: Discovery Educational Software
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Purchase options: site license
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Makes a variety of printed puzzle worksheets from words or text you type or paste - crosswords, wordsearches, scrambled words and text, text mazes and coded text. Download a 15-day free trial from the website: http://www.discoveryeducationalsoftware.co.uk/toolbox_e.htm. Windows 98; not verified on XP or Vista.

VTrain (Vocabulary Trainer)

Machine: Win
Publisher: VTrain.net
Approximate single-unit price: 20
Purchase options: shareware
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced For: All, teacher
Description: Multimedia flashcard creator; ready-made translating flashcards are available between English and over 40 other languages. Powerful editor: voice recording, image edition, smart keyboard switch between 2 languages. $20 shareware. Download from the website at http://www.vtrain.net. Also on the website is a free tool for collecting words and phrases called WordGet and vocabulary flashcard files for some 40 languages. Windows 95/98 and XP/Vista versions.


Machine: Win, Mac
Publisher: Humanities Computing Lab
Purchase options: freeware
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: WebCALIS is an experimental Java version of WinCALIS for PC, Mac, Linux/UNIX platforms. It supports over half the features of WinCALIS, and also includes numerous additional features, support for the World Wide Web as a browser applet; multiple hardware and software platforms; and HTML pages. The current version can be downloaded from http://www.humancomp.org/webcal.htm.


Machine: Win
Publisher: Humanities Computing Lab
Approximate single-unit price: 150
Purchase options: see website for details
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: Windows version of CALIS (Computer-Assisted Language Instruction System). Full range of multimedia possibilities, including audio and video. Differs from other authoring environments by supporting complex string matching with author use of wild cards; automatic "SpellMarking" of student answers; observing Unicode conventions, i.e., all languages of the world (including IPA) uniquely identified and distinctively encoded. Contact the publisher or see the website (http://www.humancomp.org/wincalis.htm) for detailed price and ordering information. Windows 95/98/2000; not verified on XP or Vista.

Word Order

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: PerLingua Software
Approximate single-unit price: 5
Purchase options: shareware
Level: Teacher For: Teacher
Description: You provide the sentences and Word Order 2 does the rest. A great feature is that you can easily choose how the sentences are broken up. Students click on words in buttons to make a sentence. Feedback is instant; both visually (the word is added to the screen) and aurally (there are sounds for correct and incorrect choices). Free demo is limited to 5 sentences; $5 shareware for full version.

Last updated 25 May 2009 by Deborah Healey, dhealey at uoregon dot edu