The Vocabulary Tutor program is a simple dialog-based Win32 program which can teach any vocabulary by association. It was meant mostly as a test bed for the underlying algorithm that I developed and also to simply help me learn German. My initial results have convinced me that it is a powerful learning tool even with its simple presentation. My intent is to integrate this technology into existing commercial educational software, though I'd also be open to developing such a product around it if an appropriate publisher comes forward. To show that that can easily be done, I've collaborated with ByHeart Educational Software and successfully integrated the engine into their full-featured shareware product.
I believe my algorithms may provide an optimal method of learning almost any vocabulary. Most recently I chanced upon a Scientific American article that showed that my assumptions were correct. The underlying intelligence is in the way that flash words and decoy choices are selected over time. Through some simple underlying ideas, intelligent behavior emerges which I believe mimic and even surpass the skill of an attentive human tutor. The best way to understand this is to simply run the program for even a few minutes.
Regardless of the size of the vocabulary to be learned, the user is never overwhelmed since it gives the feeling that there is always a small working set of words which are seen often enough to be familiar. This is where the idea of superliminosity comes in. This shifting set of words moves like a searchlight of consciousness over the concept landscape. With repeated passes the entire landscape eventually becomes known. Note that there does not really exist something as rigid as a working set within the program. It is much more fluid than that and therefore much closer to the way people really learn large sets of new concepts.
There are several useful vocabularies which you can download from this site. You can also easily create your own vocabularies. To use one of the published vocabularies below, simply click on its name. If your browser asks what you what you want to do with it, you should select "Save to disk". You should then save it in the same folder as the tutor program. If your browser simply loads the vocabulary text, you should select the "File->SaveAs" menu option instead. You may use these vocabularies freely for all noncommercial purposes.Tutor Fonts
german.csv contains a very complete (2800 word) basic German/English vocabulary which I created carefully by hand. It is of very high quality. Learning it will provide an excellent foundation for learning the German language.Russian
ger_art.csv is a permuted version of the German nouns formatted to quiz you on the proper articles for each noun which is a very important part of German grammar. Try this one as you're becoming comfortable with the German nouns.
russian.csv contains a large Russian/English vocabulary from ByHeart, a similar program by Stanislav Korotky which I converted into Tutor format with his permission and considerable help. The converted version has not been proofread for accuracy, so please let me know of any mistakes you find. Note: To use this vocabulary, you will need to select a Cyrillic font. See the "Tutor Fonts" section below for instructions.Turkish
Turkish.csv is an extremely well crafted Turkish/English vocabulary submitted by Scott Stoner. It contains over 1500 of the most important words with good multiple definitions and initial weights. An excellent beginning towards learning Turkish and a good example of how to create a good Tutor vocabulary. Scott has also created TurkVerbFormsNT.csv which teaches different forms and tenses of the verbs "to do" and "to come" using all the different conjugations and endings.Geography
John Guise of Manisa Turkish updated the above vocabularies and produced a bunch of useful new ones which should be self-explanatory.
capitals.csv is an excellent vocabulary that teaches the capitals of all 200+ countries. Now the default example vocabulary included in the program download package. Learn these all and amaze your friends. Required knowledge for any super-intellectual.
uscap.csv teaches the United States state capitals. From an anonymous author who was embarrassed that he didn't know them already. Personally, I don't know anybody that knows them all, but it's great that he cares.GRE PrepGRE.csv is a high quality vocabulary for teaching nearly 800 of the most common words required for the GRE tests required for acceptance into many university graduate programs. 500 of the words come courtesy of Timewise Test Prep which offers a suite of software to assist in GRE preparation. I've added many more words and carefully prepared the vocabulary to work well with Tutor.ESL
Here are several vocabularies by Val Narvey which should be useful to ESL students:
- roots.csv by Al Grosser. Common Greek and Roman roots, important to developing a large English vocabulary.
- english_idioms.csv is a large list of english expressions. Useful for Canadian Benchmark 8 instruction and ESL students in general.
- opposites.csv teaches the associations of many basic words with their opposites.
- prep-combos.csv teaches the correct prepositions that go with common verbs and adjectives.
- elements.csv teaches you to name the chemical elements based on their symbols.
- MorisCode.csv is a small vocabulary that teaches you to translate Morris Code.
- geometry.csv is a very small vocabulary that teaches the names of the few important polygons and polyhedra.
- japanese_numbers.csv by Andrew Mossberg teaches the Japanese names of the counting numbers.
- spice.csv by Pierre Genix. Countries importing spices from abroad often forged their spice names from the names given in the production areas. Countries producing spice just used their own words. This unusual vocabulary teaches you to recognize languages based on about 30 spice names in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
- depart.csv by Pierre Genix. French license plates contain car codes consisting of two figures or letters describing the area (called ‘départements’) in which the cars are registered. They are used in a popular French driving game to kill time on long trips. This vocabulary will help you to win that game by learning the corresponding names for the 96 codes currently used in France.
- oil.csv by Pierre Genix. Essential oils are extracted from plants. Plant Latin names have been given to plants to ensure a unique identification. This vocabulary helps you learn the Latin name for more than 120 plants used in the aroma or perfume industries.
- kings_of_england.csv Andrew Mossberg teaches the periods of rule of the English kings, queens and misc rulers of England, from 1399 to the present.
The "From Font" button allows you to select a font for the words displayed for you to translate, and "To Font" selects a font to use with the multiple choice translations. This is a critical feature when displaying characters in a non-Western character set. For example, the Russian vocabulary above uses the Cyrillic character set. When properly set up to display Russian script, the display will look something like this:
To select an installed Cyrillic font in Tutor, first click the "From Font" button which will bring up a font selection dialog:
Not all fonts have Cyrillic scripts. Arial is a good choice since it supports all the character sets. You can also adjust the relative size of the displayed words. The important thing to do is to select Cyrillic from the "scripts" drop-down box as shown by the arrow above. The drop-down box may only have room for two or three entries even though there are several more than than that. This can be very confusing. You need to scroll down to the bottom of that list by clicking several times on the down arrow as shown below:
If you have Cyrillic fonts installed, you will see it listed at the very end like this:
Just highlight that entry as shown and hit "OK".
If you don't see the script listed which you need to use, then you don't have multi-language support installed. This is easy to do, and you will only need to do this once for all programs and fonts you may want to use which are capable of using that script. To do that, use Start->Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs and select the "Windows Setup" tab. Next, scroll down and select "Multilanguage Support". You can then click the "details" button to check off and add the particular languages you want to use.