How to best remember new words

Boy   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 12:09 GMT

I think you can use a shareware version of Full-recall in which you can add as many as 500 items after that you have to be a registerd user. It is not designed as advanced as Supermemo. In other words, you can say that,
It's a computer version of simple flash cards which you make by your hands. I used it and had found it better than nothing. But, Imho, you have a great deal of lee-way in working with SM. There is no such restriction like adding images, videos, and sound clips in making items. Sumpermeo is the best software as far as learning the language is concerned. Initially, you'll have some grave doubts but they'll be disappeared into thin air as you progress further. After repeating words for some months from now on, when you'll see them while reading and you can recognize them on your hunch "Hey, I repeat this vocabulary word in my SM collection never mind about understanding the meaning of the word." No software will give you great results unless you put your time and effort into using it. I just downloaded V-train shareware - I had a tough time to understand the options and then how to make vocab items. Making items with Sm is much more easier if you want to learn only English words.
DaVinci   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 12:27 GMT

There is no doubt that by using the language again and again you will improve your vocabulary tremendously.

However, and as Mi5 Mick has stated, adults have a very different behaviour compared to children. This also includes a different learning and memorising ability. Of course, it's up to the individual to decide whether to apply a systematic or non-systematic approach.

In my case I obviously prefer a more systematic and conscious approach: I feel it's much more time-efficient for me to, say, learn 14000 words by using modern technology and applying psychology as previously described.

As such I am fully in line with Steve K and find his above described way quite sophisticated and very interesting. Great, Steve!
Steve K   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 14:30 GMT

Why not come and give it a try. I would appreciate your comments after spending some time on our site.
DaVinci   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 15:51 GMT

If this is true what you are saying about FullRecall that it is just a computer version of simple flash cards - then somebody must be telling lies. Here is a quotation from FullRecall's website:

"FullRecall is a program that can help you memorize knowledge effectively. Uses Artificial Neural Network, which gradually grasp your personal memory model, to schedule the most optimal time for an item to come up for review..."

In terms of your comparison with VTrain - how do you know that Supermemo is the best software for language learning when you have only started downloading VTrain now which means you haven't used it so far. This means you can't compare the effectiveness of the underlying repetition intervall at all!

As for your difficulties in understanding how to use VTrain - of course, each programme needs time to get acquainted with. And Supermemo is no exception! I have just had a look at their usergroup forum where a member of Supermemo's Research&Development gave the following statement:

"SuperMemo loses ground for its being overly complex and poorly optimized to satisfy a novice user. Many people give up SuperMemo early for the mere dislike of its "repelling" interface."

Don't get me wrong - so far I am neither against nor in favour of any particular language learning programme. I would rather promote a feedback that is based on a more objective and fair ground.
DaVinci   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 16:42 GMT
@ Steve K:

Thanks for your invitation. Do you mean the 7-day-free trial?

Apart from that some more questions beforehand to your previously mentioned method:

>>1) The learner reads on his computer screen. Ideally this is text with audio (whatever the source, including The Linguist Library of authentic content) or simply selected texts from online newspapers and specialized sites on the web. These texts are saved into the learners files in the system.

Does it mean that all the material you provide is text with audio?

>>4) All sentences in the learners personal files of saved content that contain the saved words are automatically collected in the learner's database. The more you read, the more example sentences you have of sentences from your reading and listening that contain these new words. The learner is told to listen and read the same content over and over.

Does it mean that for each word that the learner picks you provide several example sentences as text as well as audio files?

>>6) As she tests correctly, the frequency with which these saved words appear for daily review is reduced. After seven times the words are considered known.

What is the underlying repetition intervall/ algorithm that you use? And Is it automatically or manually?
Boy   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 17:11 GMT
Dear Davidn:

I've used Supermemo for a year. In fact, I read a novel and had encountered like 190 new words. It took me a 6 month work of appending and memorizing them with the software. I had a good experience with it. I was not in a rush, I appended words slow and steady. And, my repetitions had never exceeded over 30 items per day. I added 5-7 example sentences of each word and to the best of my knowledge, I really increased my vocabulary power and thus improve my reading comprehension, too, due to knowing those words.

I'm a 17 year old guy. My vocabulary level was beginner when I had started learning with the software. I didn't even know grammar rules of how to use "had better and should" at that time. Now I can read and understand most messages of you guys on this froum without looking up words in my dictionary after every minute and even without bothering to know the grammar rules. I normally get the gist of what you guys are trying to convince in your messages. This is the result what I got after working with the SM software within a short span of one year time and reading some articles here and there.

Now, coming back to the usefulness of Full-Recall, I tried to memorize words around 50 with it, it looked to me as simple as, "Basic" mode of Supermemo in which you can memorize the words in a mickey-mouse fashion of flash-cards. After working with it for a while, I don't see ANY BIG DIFFERENCE in the RENTENTION of WORDS. It worked same as Supermemo.

Indeed, if a user like me, wants to repeat words, in a simple mickey mouse fashion of flash cards without using those horns and whistles that SM provides for "advanced" students, then I'll recommend Full-recall because it is a cheaper in cost not like it outsmarts SM in the retention of words. Again, I'm emphasizing the aformentioned point of mine that I don't see any big difference because I didn't notice any.

But people who are interested in improving their pronunciation of words, and learning slang terms by looking at pictures, and learning other stuff, then go for SM. It provides them lots of options.

In a word, for me, V-train is the basic mode of Supermemo software.

You don't need to agree with me. I just stated my views the way I had felt. Every user has different needs and different angles of construing merits and demertis of something.

Also, I'm not a nerdy or a computer geek who goes down to know every petty detail of why this thingy is not more efficient than this one and all that David coppefield kind of crap. For me any technical software will be better than a paper made thingy which is too taxing to use.

Also, don't take my words as iron-clad about the usefulness of xyz software. I have a different experience and other users will have different with them. Like I used to read a chapter in my course book on a topic called "people can never be satisfied". The bottom line is, how you are going to use them effeciently, it all goes down to you and ONLY you.
Achab   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 17:11 GMT
DaVinci, you wrote: "[Fullrecall and MemAid] calculate the next optimum point of time when to best review new vocabulary".

This is the same way that Supermemo works!
Steve K   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 17:29 GMT

Your questions.

1) Thanks for your invitation. Do you mean the 7-day-free trial?

Yes. Or if you contact me privately I could give you access to browse around.

2) Does it mean that all the material you provide is text with audio?

Yes we have about 30 hours of recorded content, and increasing it all the time. All content has transcripts. Content consists of real interviews with ordinary people, radio programs, audiobooks and audioarticles from magazines etc. Audio can be streamed while reading or downloadad as MP3 files. It is essential to our system that learner choose content of interest. It is the interest of the learner in listenig and reading that drives the system.

3) Does it mean that for each word that the learner picks you provide several example sentences as text as well as audio files?

No. Each word or phrase saved by the learner will ensure that all sentences from his reading and listening are collected in his database. All examples are real and meaningful from know contexts. This continues to work for all new content whether from our library or from other digital sources.

If Boy read a book on our system, he would know ahead of time how many words in it were new to him, and what those words were. All sentences in that book, and in other content he may add in the future that contained these new words would become his example sentences for testing and study.

4) What is the underlying repetition intervall/ algorithm that you use? And Is it automatically or manually?

I would have to ask my programmer what the algorithm is. The learner selects 10-15 0r 20 words or phrases to review as often as he wants. The words or phrases appear on the list at random. The words that have just been learned appear more frequently, words or phrases where the learner has tested correctly appear less and less frequently.
Steve K   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 17:31 GMT
In 3) above I meant to say

all sentences containing this word from his reading and listening are collected in his database.
Boy   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 18:06 GMT
Steve K:

I'm trying to hang around on your site and understanding features that you provide. I don't understand one thing how you allow one user to SET his goals ON HIS OWN. No pre-tests in order to determine his proficiency level beforehand. I mean, for example, I want to set a goal of going to "unversity in English." And, I choose the option of "6 months intensive study". The work which is going to be given for me is immense that I can't imagine to cope with it. Here is my tasklist that I get after setting my goal:

Target:10,000: per week: 255 words

Target: 5000: Per week: 133 phrases

Target: 500 hours: Per week: 20 hours

Target 7200 words Per week: 300 words

Target: 150 hours per week: 6 hours

Also, How do I assume what is my language level is, "Beginner, Intermediate, Advance" before setting my goals?
Boy   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 18:26 GMT
Sorry for a typo:

In a word, for me, FULL-RECALL is the basic mode of Supermemo software not V-TRAIN as I never used it.
Achab   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 20:40 GMT
Steve K, I think a number of days/weeks ago you posted in this forum an username and a password for guest users willing to browse into your website. I'm saying you this just to get you know that everyone could have free access to your website's contents tight now, unless you changed your website's guest username and password.
Boy   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 21:04 GMT
Achab, Steve K doesn't provide the whole internet, anyway. :-)
Achab   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 21:24 GMT
Yeah, but this is an open forum, so virtually every Netizen could sneak into his website.
Peter   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 21:27 GMT
Boy, you're right.
And I think, if Tom*** oughtn't to take money from Steve K. because every Steve K's post consists 'an advertisment' of Steve K's The Linguist System.