If you've already had a go at making your own SentenceBuilder resources on, you are likely to have experienced issues with sentences which don't appear quite as you would like them to.

Maybe you've wanted to know how to include annotations in the SentenceBuilder but not have these appear in the sentences that it generates? e.g. markers for masculine and feminine, such as "(m)" or "(f)"

Perhaps you've wanted to know how to make the English items appear in the correct order, for things like nouns and adjectives? e.g. "une voiture rouge" = "a car red" ???

Or how to solve the word order issues in German, especially around verbs being sent to the end of the clause? e.g. "Ich bin ins Kino gegangen" = "I am to the cinema gone" ???

These problems occur because sentences are generated (in both the L1 and the L2) by simply combining the items as they appear in the SentenceBuilder, moving from left to right.

You need to add something extra -- beyond just the SentenceBuilder contents -- if you want your SentenceBuilder to generate sentences that work.

And that something extra is... 

Creating complex SentenceBuilders - a fabulous video guide by Julia Morris (@JuschMo)

SentenceBuilders subscriber Julia Morris has produced a REALLY USEFUL video user-guide for users of, which she has shared via her YouTube channel.

It is aimed at those users of the site who wish to use the authoring options to create their own SentenceBuilders (which, to be fair, is most of the teacher subscribers...)

Julia's guide deals with most aspects of creating your own resources, including:

  • Clearing data to start a new resource
  • Hints on adding content, including capitalization, etc.
  • Using the various SB tools to add rows and columns, split and merge cells etc.
  • Factors influencing SB design
  • Colour-coding of SB cells
  • Understanding "flow" (in-depth explanation with examples)
  • Adding vertical columns to enable "flow"
  • Excluding "impossible" routes / enforcing certain combinations (cell exclusions)
  • Using the "SB routes / Cell combos" pop-up
  • Using the Transformations pop-up
  • Excluding certain words from gap-fills
  • Introduction to vocab chunks and TTS transformations
  • "Verify now"
  • Uploading your resource

Here's the video. Enjoy!

Julia's video guide is a really good accompaniment to this (written) user-guide: "Creating [complex] interactive SentenceBuilder machines that work"

Hope you find this useful :o)

A NEW and updated SentenceBuilders review by "Learn with J" (@JeNoMfl)

Jérôme Nogues (@JeNoMfl on Twitter) has done it again! This post features his second comprehensive review of the SentenceBuilders website (January 2022) to include many of the new features that have been added to the site since the original review (May 2021).

You can access both of these reviews on Jérôme's "Learn with J" YouTube channel.

The first one (from May 2021) is already on the SentenceBuilders blog here.

This second review, at 41 minutes in length, covers even more than the first one. (Mainly because there's so much more to cover now!) Another epic review, extremely clear and detailed, as you can see for yourself below.

Below the video, you will see a list of the topics covered, as well as the times in the video at which they occur.

Times below are a guide to content. If you view the video on Jérôme's YouTube channel (click the link above in the video player to view it in YouTube), you'll see the same time points listed below the video, and you'll be able to navigate to the section of the video by clicking on the time link. (On this page, though, they are here as a guide only.)

  • 00:11 Main interface
  • 01:25 Using SB Premium Resources
  • 02:50 Text to Speech speed change
  • 03:02 Sound options
  • 03:12 Print options NEW
  • 4:28 Pdf button - Create worksheets!! NEW
  • 6:59 Teacher tools
  • 11:05 Copy chunks and sentences NEW
  • 13:18 Activity view
  • 14:07 Blue activities tab
  • 14:18 Vocab chunks section
  • 16:02 Delayed dictation
  • 17:57 Jigsaw rebuild
  • 18:46 Random & Circuits tabs
  • 19:55 Community Resources
  • 20:51 My Resources & Text Search
  • 21:38 Create a SB NEW
  • 31:55 Create a class
  • 32:23 Adding students
  • 33:41 Share usernames & passwords with students
  • 34:12 Reset a password
  • 34:42 Set an Assignment
  • 37:36 Student view
  • 38:30 Create a competition
  • 40:15 Final opinion NEW

Hope you find this useful :)

Creating [complex] interactive SentenceBuilder machines that work :)

This post will give an overview of the new "complex" SentenceBuilder authoring page and talk you through some of the many considerations involved in designing and producing the perfect interactive SentenceBuilder.

SentenceBuilder Design

Before embarking on creating a resource -- and before you start working with the authoring tool -- it really is worth spending a bit of time thinking about the design and layout of your SentenceBuilder table. Maybe plan it out on a piece of paper. That's what I often do -- just a rough idea of the types of structures that I want an SB to focus on and how to fit these together.

It helps, of course, to have some idea of what the options and constraints are, otherwise you're just operating "blind" as it were. So definitely have a good read through this user guide. And you'll find that this design process is easier each time you do it. Practice makes perfect seem more achievable :)