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Text mangle tool  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.

Early years skill:Any
Early years typical range:Any
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P4-P8
TAP skill:Language Understanding
TAP level:TAP37-54
Phonology/Articulation:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info; Post School Education info; Adult info

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Text mangle tool

Enter text in the "written or spoken text box", and then press "mangle text". Use the options below to set how you want the text to be mangled.

Enter some text here to mangle.
"Mangled text" will appear here in this box after you press the "mangle" button. This is to get an idea of what it might look or sound like to someone with reading and/or comprehension difficulties.
Make sure the first three boxes under "Language comprehension" are ticked if you want to just see the effects of these decoding options.
Tick the first three boxes here if you just want to see effects from the decoding text option.
Untick all the boxes under "Language comprehension", and ensure that "Can recognise everything" has been ticked under "Decoding written text" if you just want to see what the effects of (understood) sign support might be.

Each Signalong phase has on average around 390 signs see the Signalong website for more information. Signalong is being used as an illustration here and does not imply any preference for this over any other signing resource, for example Makaton.

Lists used for the conversion

16 high frequency words for reading


a, and, he, I, in, is, it, my, of, that, the, then, to, was, went, with.

100 high frequency words for reading


a, about, after, all, am, an, and, are, as, at, away, back, be, because, big, but, by, call, came, can, come, could, did, do, down, for, from, get, go, got, had, has, have, he, her, here, him, his, I, in, into, is, it, last, like, little, live, look made, make, me, my, new, next, not, now, of, off, old, on, once, one, other, our, out, over, put, saw, said, see, she, so, some, take, that, the, their, them, then, there, they, this, three, time, to, today, too, two, up, us, very, was, we, were, went, what, when, will, with, you.

Set of 100 early spoken words

See: Cambridgshire SLT department.

man, bricks, dinner, mummy, bus, plate, car, spoon, eyes, doll, sweets, feet, duck, crisps, hair, teddy, cup, hands, swing, drink, mouth, pram, milk, nose, juice, toes, book, water, tummy, box, paper, bed, bag, pencil, chair, coat, house, shoes, bird, table, hat, cat, pants, dog, brush, socks, flower, soap, tree, bath, towel, dry, read, find, big, on, clap, eat, stand, get, dirty, gone, cook, hit, throw, give, hot, more, cry, jump, walk, wet, like, yes, cut, kick, wash, look, down, no, drink, push, come, make, up, play, put, want, brick, eye, sweet, crisp, hand, toe, shoe, sock, daddy.

Set of common suffixes

See: (pdf).

‑able, ‑ible, ‑al, ‑ial, ‑ed, ‑en, ‑er, ‑est, ‑ful, ‑ic, ‑ing, ‑ion, ‑ation, ‑ition, ‑tion, ‑ity, ‑ty, ‑ative, ‑itive, ‑tive, ‑less, ‑ly, ‑ment, ‑ness, ‑eous, ‑ious, ‑ous, ‑es, ‑s, ‑y.

Set of common prefixes

See: (pdf).

anti‑, de‑, dis‑, en‑, em‑, fore‑, in‑, im‑, il‑, ir‑, inter‑, mid‑, mis‑, non‑, over‑, pre‑, re‑, semi‑, sub‑, super‑, trans‑, under‑, un‑.

Text Mangle Tool version 1.0

What this tool is for

The purpose of this tool is to be able to get a flavour of:

  • What an early reader might get from text;
  • What can be gained from text where only a selected number of high frequency words are used;
  • How a strategy of signing could assist comprehension;
  • create your own Jaberwocky poem!

1 comment

Neil Thompson Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:23

Re: Text mangle tool

About the text mangle tool

There are a number of things that you can do with the text mangle tool. The main purpose of the tool is to help thinking about language comprehension in reading, speech and sign. It does this by making it difficult for us to understand some text!

Effect of learning a small number of high frequency words for reading

A common strategy for getting going with reading is to teach a set of high frequency words. This is the list used here. To see how this might really work, take some text from an early reading book, paste it into the first box on the text mangle page, select options "can recognise the 100 most high frequency words", uncheck the other options, ensure the first three boxes under language comprehension are ticked. Click "mangle text".

Now, try to read the text in the "mangled text" box. Can you understand it? Perhaps not, but you do get some sense of the relationship between things happening. If you added some pictures along with this, then it does look like that someone reading at this level could get some meaning from this text.

If you untick all the options under "decoding written text" (still with the same ticks for language comprehension), click on "mangle text", now there's probably not a lot you can get from this text.

Note that many of these 100 high frequency (that is very common) words do have quite complex and abstract meanings and hardly any of them appear in a typical set of first words a child might learn to speak and understand.

Effects of language comprehension

To start using this part, make sure "can recognise everything" is ticked in the "decoding written text" section - we are now just going to look at effects on language comprehension (for example from understanding something that has been read or been said). Put some text in the "written or spoken text" box. Click on "mangle text".

Change the options under "language comprehension". For example, what if the child can only understand the first 100 words? What if they can understand all words, but not the word order or grammatical markers. Grammatical markers are bits that go on the ends of words to change their meaning a little, for example "I cook" to "I cooked" - the "ed" on the end of "cooked" is a grammatical marker which has changed "cook" from something I do regularly to something I did in the past (perhaps yeserday).

Sign support

The idea of this is to see what a set of signs to support spoken language might do - given that someone could learn these signs, but not, for some reason, understand the spoken words that go with them (or perhaps the speaker themselves uses signs and have difficulties with their speech).

To see the effect of this, again make sure that "Can recognise everything" is ticked under "Decoding written text" (we are not looking at reading at this point). Make sure that "understands all words" is not ticked under "language comprehension". Now tick one or more of the sign vocabulary lists. "Mangle" some text. What could someone who understands signs potentially get out of this?

Further comments

Try clicking around the options, see what happens. What do you think?

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