There are already a great deal of excellent webposts discussing the benefits, usage, and installation of Learning with Texts. So, with this post I hope to merely introduce the use of the software in action and convince any non-believers of its usefulness.
What is Learning with Texts?
Learning with Texts is basically: a piece of website software that allows users to import, read, and listen to various foreign language texts.
The key idea behind LWT seems to be the fact that reading more in a foreign language helps you learn it faster and better. After all, reading introduces you to new vocabulary and repetitive grammar structures (IN CONTEXT) that can then be turned around and put to immediate use.
Why is it Awesome?
I like what Daniel (Delenir) says at Mikoto And Friends’ Adventures in Japanese:
It’s like creating your own textbook, with all the materials being of your own choosing.
And in another post:
Being able to use absolutely any text you want to learn makes the process more fun and more relevant to your interests.
That, coupled with its functionality, mobility (accessible via smartphones and tablets as well), and compactness (every resource is self-contained within a single window) makes this software hands down the BEST extensive-reading-foreign-language software available. Oh, and of course, it’s FREE!
How can you make it Awesomer?
This program has all the makings of a commercial piece of software. If you adequately and appropriately put ALL its features to good, consistent use, you’ll soon be flying down the road to fluency.
Appropriate choice of materials is the first step toward Awesomer: choose something that contains about 75-80% of words that you already know. If you choose something too easy, you won’t grow. And if you choose something to hard, you’ll frustrate yourself and burn-out on the first text.
For me (after passing TOPIK Level 2 with a 91 and studying both the Sogang Compact Series and Korean Grammar in Use: Beginner books), TalkToMeInKorean.com’s Iyagi series is absolutely brilliant! It’s a short podcast of about 7-10 minutes (on average) that includes an online MP3 and PDF that work perfectly with LWT. (I’ll post a tutorial on that later this week.)
Secondly, using all of LWT’s many features makes it Awesomer as well:
- Importing texts
- Linking to audio that can be played in the browser while you’re reading
- Define your own terms and how well you know them (Levels Unknown, 1,2,3,4,5, Well-known)
- Export your terms to Anki
- TEST yourself on what you’ve previously read
- Choose from multiple web dictionaries
- See your progress on the Statistics page
- Print a text with optional inline annotations
For a full-list of LWT’s features, check out the project page.
How you can study Awesomely.
Do it daily. Do it here.
We will be rolling out LWT on our website later this week as a part of our One-Year Birthday Celebration for the site.
- Register here and get ready for Friday
(Or, alternatively, if you can’t wait that long for Awesome…)
- You can also download LWT yourself and install it on your own server or localhost
- Go to Benny’s Fluent in 3 Months website and register there