I am finding them quite effective in terms of raising my attentiveness towards new vocabulary, and providing a reading opportunity at the same time, as well as a review of texts that I have covered.
I had used the cloze test (when I was a paying member), but I found it often way too easy because the choice of answers make it very easy to select the right one (even if you don’t know the solution).
The choice of answers is too easy. It’s very easy to select the right one, because you already know that the answer should be an infinitive, or a conjugated verb, or an adjective, or a noun. In the choice, there are all kinds of random words, so only 1 or 2 can possibly be the right one. In my opinion, non very effective.
I prefer flashcards more, i even find it enjoyable as i only need to decide my ‘feelings’ towards the words and phrases.
BTW, the status indicator is a great feature, works well with flashcards.
I have used it and found it a nice diversion, I guess because when studying languages I do not look for a mental workout. I think I would use it more but it is not on iLingQ
I agree with jplipl. I hate to say it, but when I (infrequently) have done the cloze test, I was reminded of Rosetta Stone!
Nevertheless, I do like the idea of the cloze test; it would just be nice if it could be more grammatically discerning…I suppose that that is a rather tall order.
Of course the words are selected entirely at random, and this means that sometimes the correct answer is obvious because of the part of speech. This depends, however, on your stage in the language. At my present stage in Czech, that is not always obvious.
However, I doubt that the effectiveness depends on the difficulty of the activity. Rather it is the fact that I am forced to read the sentence, with the missing word. Then I have to review the five words that are suggested, all of which are words that I am trying to learn, and do not yet know. Then if I choose the right word, my knowledge of that word is strengthened. If I choose the wrong word, and see the correct answer, my knowledge of the correct word is also reinforced.
I think that cloze tests, like Flash Cards, and reading the texts with the yellow highlights, are all different ways of increasing our attentiveness to the language. The more different ways we expose ourselves to these words, the more likely we are to learn them.
But it all boils down to where we like to spend our study time. I mostly listen and read, but I am finding that in Czech, doing the cloze test before or after I read a new text is quite helpful. It gets me to focus on the words more.
I used the cloze test with my daughter. At her level in French (Beginner 1) it is ok. And it was fun for her. It was a nice variation on her learning schedule.
Pardon my ignorance, what is the cloze test?
It’s a fill-in-the-gaps test based on the lesson you worked on. You can find it on the Vocabulary page (2nd icon top right).
And within the lesson on the right side under My LingQs.
A small improvement to these tests might be to run the candidate answers through an upper-to-lower case converter before displaying them to the user. Then LingQs that were the first word in a sentence would not be capitalised and obviously wrong when the word to be “filled in” is mid-sentence (or obviously correct vice versa).
This idea may be a bit off of the discussion but since it involves cloze tests I figured I’d post it here. A nice improvement to the cloze tests might be to let users pick which words they want to be blank in the cloze tests for the lessons, not just the LingQs. Prepositions would be a very good reason for this. Any intermediate user will already know all of the prepositions but not necessarily be able to use them correctly all of the time. Providing a Cloze test for prepositions would be a good way to learn which situations call for which prepositions. Please yell at me if I explained my idea poorly.
It is a good idea but I don’t know how we would do this without designing language specific cloze tests. Something to think about.
Well, I suppose we could leave it up to the learner to choose words to be the blanks in the cloze tests. A learner could create their own “prepositions” list or “pronouns” list, and then apply those lists to a lesson which would create the cloze questions.
I don’t know how all of this works, but that seems like an interesting idea. If learners can create their own lists, of prepositions, or verb forms, or noun forms etc, this could be quite effective for the learners.