An Easy Recipe To Prepare ESL Content

6 February, 2024


Today we will be discussing quick methods to help you prepare ESL content. As a language teaching expert, while it may not seem obvious at first, you share similarities with professional chefs. Think about it – you value precision and carefully weigh every word you use to create effective reading material for language learners, ensuring every morsel of content they consume boosts their language skills.

Like so many successful chefs who swear by traditional recipes but add a contemporary twist driven by their own culinary creativity, you combine traditional language teaching methods, like a pre-developed syllabus with modern tools and technology. Language professionals today also personalise lessons based on their students’ English language level, just like a sensitive chef who adjusts the spiciness of a dish as per their client’s preference. Most of all, you share the same passion, enthusiasm, and love for your work.

This month, our chefs at Text Inspector share a simple check list with you for a perfectly baked language assessment cake that helps you deliver insightful language lessons for your students. Before we begin, we would recommend you start by checking the rough overall CEFR score of your text using Text Inspector’s scorecard. Don’t forget to keep in mind the English language proficiency level of your students; think of it as pre-heating your oven to ensure you get the best results.

Sift Through The Different Parts Of Speech

As a language professional, labelling parts of speech in your text based on their morphological features gives you a more holistic overview of the composition of your prepared text. New learners of English often find homonymous words confusing. For instance, lead (a noun; the element) and lead (a verb; the act of guiding) can be difficult to distinguish if you’re not familiar with English.

A tool like Text Inspector provides up to 63 tags for different parts of speech, helping not just ESL students learn about and differentiate parts of speech like determiners, prepositions, adverbs, etc., but also enabling language teachers to quickly spot and adjust their learning material based on this information.

Measure And Mix – Statistical Data To Analyse Your Text Better

Statistical data can provide excellent insight into the difficulty level of the language you’ve used in your text, helping you modify them as per your students’ requirements.

Intelligent tools like Text Inspector can measure your text according to its sentence count, word count, uniqueness of words, syllables, and more. Generally, a higher count indicates greater complexity, but as discussed further, there are other elements that help determine the difficulty level of a text too.

Whisk In Three Readability Tests

Lengthy and complex sentences can make a text difficult to consume, even for native English speakers. To communicate more effectively and enhance the clarity of one’s message, content can be scored according to popular readability tests that indicate the level of text complexity. Text Inspector gives you scores based on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade, Flesch Reading Ease, and Gunning Fog Index to calculate readability score and indicate opportunities to improve how widely or easily a piece of text can be read and understood.

Add A Cup Of Lexical Diversity Check To Your Text Analysis Batter

Lexical diversity indicates the richness of a speaker’s vocabulary. Are the same words repeated in your content or are different but related words used throughout the text? Reiterating a new word using different sentence structures in the same text can enable learners to memorise as well as understand the nuances of its usage.

On the other hand, the presence of synonymous words points at how large or well-used one’s vocabulary is. Compare a text that describes a cake using the word “delicious” during several instances in the text to another sentence that employs complex words and phrases like “decadent”, “indulgent”, “scrumptious”, “chocolate chip studded”, “Christmas tree shaped”—the former is simpler to understand but the latter is more layered and informative.

Depending on the goal you’ve set for your students, you can check and adjust the lexical diversity of your text, much like you would adjust the sweetness of a chocolate cake batter to your family’s liking.

Top It With A Generous Dollop of Metadiscourse Marker Check

Your batter is almost ready to turn into an impressive assessment of your content’s difficulty level; but first, let’s check the use of metadiscourse markers in your text. When it comes to language learning, the presence of metadiscourse markers in a text indicates that the speaker/reader has achieved a certain level of fluency.

Discourse markers help explain thoughts and ideas more effectively and are indicative of a deeper understanding of the linguistic nuances. The placement of discourse markers is, therefore, also given special importance during the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examinations. As students develop language proficiency, their learning material must also reflect more challenging elements like metadiscourse markers.

However, if you’re a native English speaker, you may often use such markers in your lessons and reading material without being fully aware of it. To help you recognise such advanced elements in your text, tools like Text Inspector instantly analyse your text for metadiscourse markers like emphatics, hedges, attitude markers and more, helping you alter the difficulty level of your learning content.


Once you’ve followed all the steps to bake the perfect language assessment test that is just right for the difficulty level of your ESL students, use your classroom insights as a cherry to top the cake, and your learning material is ready to serve! You may also plate each portion differently by tweaking your study material based on individual language learner levels or feedback you receive during your lessons.

If this seems like a lengthy checklist when preparing your next lesson, we have a simple solution for you. Text Inspector’s language assessment pre-mix helps you instantly and effectively check the complexity of all your content.

The best part? In addition to the finest ingredients shared in this check list, Text Inspector gives you a comprehensive and precise analysis of any text by also considering real-world knowledge of the English language based on the British National Corpus, Corpus of American English, Academic Word List (AWL) and Phrases, and metrics like the English Vocabulary Profile (EVP) which are widely used by language professionals.

With Text Inspector, you can verify the readability level, lexical diversity, complexity, vocabulary, syntax, structure, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level, and much more, all with one language assessment tool.

If you want to read about any of the metrics mentioned in more depth, head over to our features section.

 Ready to bake your own language assessment cake? Try Text Inspector for free or sign up for a special subscription today. Don’t forget to share a slice with us when you use Text Inspector; after all, every chef appreciates feedback.


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