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Books & Tea & Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch

Hi there,

the last few weeks were really adventurous. I had a lot of appointments and events (such as the Frankfurt Book Fair) and I loved attending them 😀 I really did, but to be honest I’m relieved it is over. Even if I had a great time, as I am an introvert it was eminently exhausting as well…

I hoped that it will be less stressful the next weeks, but I think I might have forgotten to consider the fact that Christmas is coming soon. Only 20 days left!

So I’m absolutely grateful for every single minute I have to myself between appointments and other obligations.

Besides having some quality time with my family, I read a lot and most of the books I recently read were in English, such as Turtles All The Way Down by John Green and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. (They were fantastic!) Currently, I’m reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Yep, I know… I’m a bit late to follow the hype about the Don Tillman books which occurred when they were first published but do you know this feeling when you’re interested in a story, but it doesn’t seem to be the right time to read it because there are other books you currently feel more attracted to? For me, that was the case with these books. But even if I didn’t read them in those days, I enjoy reading them now all the more 🙂 I’m on page 149 and so far it’s genius and absolutely funny 😀 Have you read it yet?

I’ve also written a lot lately. Even on my blog actually. See, I originally had a really good plan: My next post was supposed to be about extroverts and introverts and another one about my experiences at the book fair. After these two I wanted to show you an app called “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch”, followed by a lot more ideas I still have in mind 🙂 But no matter how much I tried I wasn’t able to overcome my writer’s block in the long term. So I recently started three different topics and didn’t finish even one of them… Hooray procrastination!

And now I’m finally sitting here in my living room, drinking tea (a lovely cup of Earl Grey with milk and sugar) and all I do is writing. Take this writer’s block! Anyway, I decided to upset my plans and celebrate my comeback to creativity by writing about the vocabulary app. So grab a cuppa, take a comfortable seat and here we go 🙂


Thank You, Langenscheidt!

I met the nice Langenscheidt team at their stand at the book fair and I had a lovely conversation with them. We stayed in contact afterwards and the publishing house offered me the opportunity to test the full version of “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” for free. Thank you very much 🙂


First Things First

Langenscheidt offers a variety of vocabulary trainers. Besides English, they’re also available in French, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.

With downloading the free version of “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” you get the opportunity to test the vocabulary trainer with words from the categoryEssen und Trinken” (Foods and Drinks).

If you find it helpful, you can purchase the full version. It contains 800 words and idioms from eight topics and a variety of functions such as games for interactive training, a recording function or the possibility to add your own words.

The app is available for both Android andiOSand I can totally agree with Langenscheidt who are recommending their vocabulary trainer primarily to people who are beginners (CEFR level A1/A2 and below).

Tiny hint: If you’re one of the lucky owners of a “Langenscheidt IQ” language courseand already registered in the “Lern-Manager” (learn manager) you can unlock the full version for free.


First Impression

When I first opened the app (at this point I was using the free version), two thoughts were flashing through my mind:

I really like these colourful little pictures, but the background colour is too dark for my liking.

Actually, I don’t consider myself being particularly superficial, but I realised that colours and pictures have a huge impact on the way I can remember vocabulary because I’m a visual learner. That’s why I prefer bright, friendly and motivating colours. I’m sorry, but black doesn’t fall into these categories.

But for sure the content is way more important to me than the appearance. And when I first read the app description in the app store I got so excited 😀 I’ve had noticed that Langenscheidt wrote that the app is most suitable for beginners. So I thought it’s likely that I’m already familiar with most of the vocabulary. And I was right. But as there are features like “Meine Wörter” (My Words) with which you’ve got the possibility to add your own words (plus a matching picture), I thoughtthe app might be quite useful for advanced learners like me as well.


The Free Version

As I mentioned before, you get free access to the vocabulary category “Essen und Trinken” (Food And Drinks) after downloading the app. That way you’ve got the possibility of getting familiar with the functionality of the vocabulary trainer by testing two games. Hereby you can figure out whether the app agrees with your needs and wishes or not. Based on the experiences you’ve just made you can decide if you want to unlock new content and functions by purchase.

With the free version, you can test “Match it!” and “Buzzer”.



My Experiences With The Full Version

After purchasing the app I had access to the complete vocabularyand all other games and features. And if you call to mind that the app was designed for beginners, I think 800 words and idioms are something you can work with for a while, don’t you?

I also like Langenscheidt’s visual attempt. I know I said I don’t like the dark background – actually, that didn’t change at all 😉 – but I rather mean the connection between words and pictures. You can recall vocabulary more easily if you can connect them with a special picture or feeling. That’s just how our brain works. (I’m currently reading about this topic so I might continue that thought in another post later on. Feel free to remind me if you’re interested in it 🙂 )

Games

I tried all the games “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” has to offer and I’m a big fan of the general idea of using interactive learning because it’s funny and if you enjoy the task you’re doing you’re more motivated to keep going 🙂 So I think it’s great that Langenscheidt followed this attempt in the app.

I enjoyed playing “Letter Puzzle”, “Match It!” and “Buzzer” and I really consider them being helpful when it comes to remembering words more easily (especially because of the pictures which were used), but there were also some things which I don’t like about them. Just to give you an insight into it:

In “Match it!”, for instance, you can only find the matching picture to the English word, which appears at the bottom of the app. Especially because the pictures aren’t always self-explaining, it would be great to see the German translation, too.

Unfortunately, I also developed a quite strained relationship to the features “Wortliste” (Word list) and “Meine Wörter” (My words) much to my regret.

Wortliste

Instead of the list view, I’d prefer traditional flashcards, because in my humble opinion flashcards are clearer and make it easier to learn the vocabulary. The list view in “Wortliste” seemed a bit overloaded for me, though it is great that the app keeps examples ready to show how to use a particular word in a sentence.

Besides this, I was really looking forward to the recording feature, but it seems that there is a problem because it doesn’t work at all on my iPhone (iOs 11.2) 🙁 I’m hugely disappointed because I think it’s a lovely idea to offer the possibility to listen to the words spoken by a native speaker with the correct pronunciation. And also the feature to record your own voice, so you can compare it with the native’s recording, is brilliant.

Meine Wörter

Again, it’s a great attemptto offer a function that allows you to add own words. After reading the app description, “Meine Wörter” (My Words) was the feature I was most looking forward to trying, but sadly it didn’t work the way I think it’s supposed to work.

As you can see in the gallery above, adding words proved to be difficult, because it’s hard to identify in which row you’re supposed to type in the English and in which the German term; the row label is unreadable, you’ve got to guess.

Additionally, I wasn’t able to add a picture to a word. No matter whether I tried to take a picture or whether I tried to add it from my photo albums, the app crashed. But it’s designed for words being connected with pictures because otherwise, you can only see white symbols on the list. (As you can also see in the gallery above.)

Before you can finally learn your own added words, you’ve got to click on the matching picture (given that you’ve been able to add some) and then on “Wort ansehen” (show word), only then you get the English term and its German translation.

It would be fantastic if you could learn your added words in the games as well, but unfortunately, that isn’t possible. Neither can you add whole sentences, because they’re too long.


Conclusion

I think Langenscheidt developed a lovely interactive training, which fits with the desires and needs of people who don’t have much prior knowledge of the English language or any at all and who just got started improving their English.

The games are a fun way to learn vocabulary and they help to stay motivated. The visual attempt helps to remember words more easily. I really like this concept 🙂

That’s the reason why I hoped the app might be useful for advanced learners as well, especially when I read about the function “Meine Wörter” and the recording feature; turned out I was mistaken. The general idea of these functions is great, but much to my regret the implementation hasn’t been able to convince me entirely given the fact that they didn’t work properly. Pity!

And I think that’s the sticking point. The app’s focus lies in the vocabulary already provided by Langenscheidt. “Meine Wörter” is only an additional service. Nevertheless, it’s written in the app description that you get access to these functions when you purchase the full version for € 10.00, what I think is much money. And it’s quite frustrating actually if it turns out that you can’t use them properly, even if you’ve paid.  (Especially if the only reason why you purchased the app was that you were interested in these particular features.)

I’m sorry, as I am rather an advanced learner (kinda proud to be able to write that actually 😀 ), and due to the fact I already tested a lot of different apps, software and other methods to learn vocabulary, I’m probably quite difficult to please. (And it’s perhaps not helpful that I’m a hardcore perfectionist with super high expectations, is it? 😉 ) But even if the app doesn’t work for me, nonetheless it might be working for you. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like the app, but I’d only recommend it to total beginners and I also think there’s still room for improvement 😉 Well, two years have passed since the last update, so it’s actually time for a new one, isn’t it? We’ll see, maybe we’re lucky 😀 )


What’s your way learning vocabulary? Let me know, I’m really curious 🙂 Take care, everyone!

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