Some more ideas for improvement

First of all, let me say that I really enjoy being a (paying) member of LingQ and I do appreciate all the improvements that are constantly being introduced to the website. I’m very grateful for having opportunity to study my languages in such a helpful environment and I really enjoy starting and ending my day with LingQ.

A few days ago I had a look at LWT (this software, which is somewhat similar to LingQ in some of its functions) and I decided to use it with these of my languages (I mean specifically Turkish) which are not yet introduced to LingQ. I have to say that obviously LingQ has a lot of advantages over this little software, but some of its functionalities would be really useful here, too.

For example, I have to admit that when I create a new lingq, I don’t really pay any attention to the “phrase” field. It’s not that helpful, because it gives only a fragment of the sentence which usually does not make any sense. You can obviously edit it yourself, but if you want to create more than 10 lingqs a day, it starts to take too much time to bother with that. In LWT however, when you create a “lingq”, it saves the whole sentence that you encountered a given word in. Wouldn’t it be great to have that function in LingQ, too? It shouldn’t be too difficult to introduce, since the system should automatically notice when the given sentence starts and ends (sentences end with full stops, question marks, exclamation marks etc and they start when the last sentence ends). So that is one thing.

The second thing that I liked about LWT is the possibility of “cloze” testing. I know we have a similar functionality at LingQ, but it would be great if the system could provide the definition of the word (or its translation) instead of giving 5 possibilites, where 4 of them are different parts of speech :wink: What is more, if we were given a (whole!) sentence with a cloze and a definition (or synonyms, or translation) of the lacking word, we would have to actively recall that word instead of just recognising it from 5 words picked randomly.

For example:
“Es ist nicht einmal sicher, ob es nicht um eine _______ aus dem Mittelalter handelt.”
(falsification, fake)

Instead of:
“Es ist nicht einmal sicher, ob es nicht um eine _______ aus dem Mittelalter handelt”.
(brennende, Fälschung, skurril, sicher wie das Amen in der Kirche, Urplötzlich)

I hope you get the picture :wink: What do you think about my suggestions?

It just occurred to me that we could also have the possibility of choosing whether we want to receive LingQs of the day or Cloze tests of the day, since I never remember about Cloze tests until I bump into them accidentally :wink: But that’s only a thought, since I believe THAT would be much more difficult to introduce.

I agree.

I agree, too!

I’ve asked several times for the first suggestion. It is a small change for a programmer that helps ALL who creates LingQs. These incomplete sentences are annoying but correcting each sentence by hand is very time consuming. We will save a lot of time if this would be implemented.

I seldom use the cloze test. I think the way it is at the moment is nice for beginners only. My daughter liked it for her french. But for intermediate or advanced student it is much to easy.

Good ideas, all of them.

I think the close test could be great, even for intermediate/ advanced users. I’d like something like that to help with activating vocab. Depending on how the potential answers are generated (which words appear as options) it would be excellent grammar practice for more grammar/ case heavy languages.

“that helps ALL who creates LingQs.”

I would not be so sure.

“I have to say that obviously LingQ has a lot of advantages over this little software,”
In what ways? Other than the community generated LingQs or the community itself.

@customic - Thanks for the feedback. We are going to be making some changes in our Vocabulary section. The option to see the sentence a term comes from is one of these changes. The ability to study your LingQs of the Day using a Cloze test has already been done and will be available on the site in the next few days.

We will look at this new type of Cloze test and see if there is any application on LingQ.

@Mark: You made my day! It is great how LingQ has improved in the last year.

I would like to see in LingQ something like this

Le Bon - Interactive Readings - <<

But I think that would be too difficult to implement…

Some instructions:
Click on any word - the sound track will begin at that location.
Press back or forward arrow - The sound track will jump back or forward by three seconds. If paused the previous or next three words will be selected and the recording will begin at that location when played.
Press Number keys (1 -9) - Pressing 5 will cause the sound track to jump back five seconds.
Pressing the space bar will toggle between playing and pausing the sound track. When paused the word that is being said is selected along with previous and next one.

@hape - Something like this requires each lesson to be manually time coded to match with a certain point in the audio. It’s been a suggestion that we’ve received before, but something that is simply impossible at this time.

I happen to think that the approach hape suggests would be counterproductive (with no malice to hape… rumours of my “hatred” for him are greatly exaggerated).

In the end you have to, to some extent, “skim” the objective evidence i.e. the notation and the sounds, and trust your experience and intuition to fill in the gaps, even if sometimes you are wrong. Studying in the manner hape suggested takes the onus off your internal resources by making it too easy and tempting to focus on objective niceties. Chacun son gout.

I am not suggesting this as a general study method, but as an add-on for beginners.
But this discussion leads to nothing because it’s technically not feasible.

there’s a thin line, hape :slight_smile:

I am glad that we will have the option to save a “fragment” or phrase, as now, or a sentence. I prefer the fragment since that is where the word I have saved appears. The rest of the sentence is of less interest to me. This is particularly the case when I review a number of examples of the captured fragments from the LingQ widget, sometimes selecting a new one. I edit my fragment down to a shorter fragment, and sometimes record myself saying the word and then the fragment. This is especially useful for tagged lists that deal with such things as case in Russian and Czech, or I would assume, verb forms in Romance languages. To each his own, so choice will be an improvement.

As to the cloze test, I think it depends on where you are in the language. As a beginner in Czech, it is not yet always obvious to me which part of speech is required, and what part of speech of the 5 suggested solution words are. Reading the sentence, and reviewing all five words, seems to stimulate me to think about the language. Just having the meaning or translation would not require the same kind of thinking.

We could have a different test where we are required to match definitions or meanings to words that we have saved, but I am not sure that this best done in a cloze test. I prefer no hint or translation in the cloze test.

In future, we could limit the words to be used in a cloze test to a series of words selected by the user, i.e. a Tagged list. That way you could choose only adverbs, or tag words for “case”. or “tense” and then only those words be part of the cloze test.

What do others think?


There’s a thought; some kind of cloze test based on tags made by the user.

I don’t know if it might be very complex to programme, or too fiddly for users, but I’d use something that allowed me to:

*save a phrase,
*highlight a word, or word-ending,
*tag it (noun/ case / plural / irregular / gender/ etc.)

  • have that word or part of that word obscured in a cloze test

I’d find this very helpful in activating passive vocab, and firming up grammar.

In fact we have the ability to create Tagged lists and use these lists for cloze tests right now. The management of our tags will get easier in the upcoming vocab section rebuild. We need to be careful in how we tag and some degree of trial and error is inevitable. This will become easier.

It is important to keep phrases out of the tagged list you use for cloze tests. You may need to try different things.

If you tag for Genitive you will only be tested on missing genitive forms and only choose from among words in the genitive. This may be easy, but may also be good for reinforcing your grasp of the genitive. On the other hand if you add the tag “case” every time you tag for a case, you can have a cloze test with mixed cases. The same could be done for verbs by adding the tag “verb” to all the verbs that you tag as imperfect, subjunctive or whatever.

Hiding parts of words is not something that we are looking at right now.