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Last Updated on September 26, 2017

Learn a New Language Anywhere at Your Own pace with Wokabulary

Learn a New Language Anywhere at Your Own pace with Wokabulary

If you want to learn a language, the obvious thing to do is to take a class or maybe watch some YouTube tutorials or podcasts. But there are problems with learning a language in this external way.

In a class, or videos or podcasts, teaching materials tend to be a little generic. The teacher behind these materials wants to fit the needs of many people at once. Therefore, your learning progress depends on them and not on your own capabilities. It’s hard to even keep track of your own progress, because the learning process relies on external measures meant to fit the many needs of a broad audience.

With a class setting, it’s inconvenient to self-test your abilities. It’s hard to do in a classroom where you might be taking tests that go to the teacher. It’s also difficult when you’re using YouTube tutorials to learn. With videos, you generally have no way of testing out your learning. It’s hard to fix mistakes when you don’t even know what they are.

When you discover a cool and useful new word in class or YouTube tutorials, you don’t have a way to store the information properly. When you rely on a teacher in charge of a whole class, or a set of videos made by some native speaker in a different country, you aren’t in charge of your own learning. It’s the blind leading the blind. And you may not have the best place to store your notes.

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When the most common learning tools have such big flaws, what’s the best solution?

I want to introduce to you is Wokabulary. This app makes it super efficient for learning a new language. It has a number of features, including fitering and organizing vocabulary of any language, self-testing, and progress tracking. Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the app.

Support different languages

Wokabulary supports every language under the sun. Any characters will show up in the app without a problem, from Russian to French to Korean. When you open Wokabulary, you’ll set up your first vocabulary. You’ll be prompted to select any language you want to learn!

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    Add words that YOU want to learn

    Wokabulary offers you total control over your own learning. This is absolutely one of its best features. It’s a great way to augment the main way you’re learning a language, whether through a podcast or a traditional course or an online class.

    Simply enter the word you want to add to your vocabulary with translation, as well as tags (if you want) and difficulty level. This level of control is ultra-personalized and will help you reach your language-learning goals!

      Quick search and filter words

      As soon as you’ve started entering words into your vocabulary, you can search for them. As long as you added the relevant filter tag, you can find all the related words at the click of a button. This is especially useful when you learn vocabulary in blocks. For example, in a Spanish class you may have learned a large selection of words related to “work” in a single week. This organization can help you augment your vocabulary very quickly.

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        Quiz yourself at your own pace

        Wokabulary offers two kinds of quizzes: the traditional “flashcard” model and the “typing quiz.”

        The flashcard quiz is what you’d expect: the words show up, you recall the translated version of the word, and click to see if you got it right.

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          By contrast, the typing quiz gives you the word in English and you must accurately type in the word in the target language. This kind of active recall forces you to remember words in all their detail: a super effective technique for self-testing.

            Keep track of learning progress

            Finally, what good is testing yourself if you can’t see tangible results? Wokabulary gives you plenty of resources to see your productivity and growth. Under “Statistics,” you can track your daily average words learned, as well as the cumulative total number of words now in your vocabulary!

              Take up a Language and Master It Fast

              Simply install Wokabulary here. It’s free and you can start your language learning immediately.

              You can sync words across several devices including iPhone, iPad and Mac at once, so you are always able to pick up where you left off, whether you’re on a lunch break at work or just chilling at home.

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              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

              The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

              It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

              Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

              “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

              In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

              New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

              There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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              So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

              What is the productivity paradox?

              There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

              In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

              He wrote in his conclusion:

              “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

              Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

              How do we measure productivity anyway?

              And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

              In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

              But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

              In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

              But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

              Possible causes of the productivity paradox

              Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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              • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
              • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
              • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
              • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

              There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

              According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

              Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

              The paradox and the recession

              The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

              “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

              This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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              According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

              Looking forward

              A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

              “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

              Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

              “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

              On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

              Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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