VoCab Mobile Application

Rethinking language learning experience

BACKGROUND

While studying for the GRE, my fellow test takers and I ran into several problems learning vocabulary. First, all the vocabulary apps on the market focus on memorization instead of comprehension. They teach new vocabulary by repeating the definition over and over again instead of explaining the meaning of the words based on a context. This approach is ineffective and time-consuming as learners will forget the words in the long run.

Second, different countries have different issues of learning a new language. For instance, as a Vietnamese, I tend to pronunciate a word with an "s" sound at the end. By identify where a user comes from, the app can address these issues and personalize the learning experience.

Moreover, I want to focus on the social aspect of learning. By integrating "learning groups," a user can look for people who are learning the same tests and get together to help one another with the test.

WHAT'S NEW?

CONTEXT-BASED VOCABULARY LEARNING

A lot of vocabulary apps teach vocabulary through memorization, which is proven to be ineffective in language learning. Users will remember longer and faster when learning new words by guessing and associating the meaning with the context. Moreover, I want to have an algorithm where users can indicate how familiar they are with the words, so that they can save time learning the words they don't know. New words will be repeated more frequently and known words will not come back in the list.


PERSONALIZED LEARNING EXPERIENCE BASED ON USER'S ORIGIN AND PROGRESS

Before starting, new users are asked to take a survey to learn more about where they come from and what they want to achieve. Different countries have different problems when it comes to learning English. For example, Japanese and Chinese students have a difficult time pronouncing "r" and "l" or Vietnamese students tend to skip syllables. By acknowledging these problems, the app can help the students improve their experience. Moreover, the survey will ask what the students want to focus on and it will aggregate resources to assist the students in bettering those aspects.


ADD WORDS TO FLASH CARDS FOR EASY REVISION

This is a feature my English learner fellows and I want to have in the app. While learning, we often come across difficult words that we want to revisit, but the current apps do not have a feature to save the words for later review. By adding this features, students can come back and learn the words more in depth.


INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL FACTOR IN LEARNING

Just like social media but for study group! This feature helps students find people who are learning the same test in the area and they can meet up for a group study session.

DESIGN

WHAT'S NEXT?

I want to do more user testing and create an interactive prototype for VoCab. Later down the road, I want to look into what technologies and engineering aspect are involved in the making of this application.

MORE WORK