Posts Tagged ‘vocabulary’


Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Found this on Lifehacker. Langladder is a Firefox extension that combines several tools for vocabulary learning such as translation and flashcards. Haven’t yet installed it myself but it looks like an excellent little free tool.

LangLadder Screencast from Erik Larson on Vimeo.

Lingoes – free dictionary and translator

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Following on from my earlier post on Google Translator here’s a handy little app I found on Lifehacker the other day: Lingoes. It lets you mouse over to get definitions and translations in 23 languages. It’s free and very small. This would be handy to have on a usb stick for example.


Flashcards for mobile phones

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Thornton and Houser were among the first to show the potential for cellphones for vocabulary learning back in 2004. They sent out SMS messages to their students with new vocabulary, and made sure that each item was received multiple times by their participants. I don’t think (but I could be wrong here) that they made use of spaced learning by increasing the time interval between each exposure. Flaschard software is excellent at that, and now there are programs for use on cellphones. This could potentially be excellent as you are likely to have your phone with you when it is time for your next rehearsal. Here is one such program ( but there are many others.


Mobile object recognition for language learning?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I was just reading about advances in technology that allow machines to recognise facial expressions – to the extent where a computer is able to tell if (for example) an employee is smirking, grinning or smiling at a customer (scary stuff). What caught my eye was that computers are now apparently able to connect images with the internet. The Accenture Mobile Object-Recognition Platform will let people send pictures from their cellphones to look things up on the internet. I was just thinking how neat it would be for learners to point and shoot at everyday objects and get information about them. This could be either through regular Google searches but it could just as easily connect to a translation site. So, you walk around town and see an object you don’t know the word for. Simply take a picture and get the word both in your own and in the target language! (See the Economist from March 7 for information about the technology and an interesting Technology Quarterly supplement).