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Understanding a new language

The best way to learn a language is to make friends with a very patient native speaker who has the same interests as you, and who can speak and write at just the right level for you to understand.

You want to learn a new language in order to understand others and to make yourself understood. Your new language is a means of communication, not an end in itself.

You can only learn from exchanges that you understand. The more interested you are in the subject you are discussing, the more pleasure you get from learning.

Lexogram is designed to understand you. It learns what vocabulary you are comfortable with, and what topics you prefer. It looks for material which will interest you and which will introduce new expressions at just the pace that suits you. It will keep reminding you of words that you are learning until it can be sure that you have fully acquired them.

Lexogram is more tireless than any human, and never forgets what you have learnt. Lexogram will help you get along with native speakers without trying their patience.


More than words

Most of human communication is non-verbal. Gestures, facial expression, tone of voice and social expectations change the meaning of words. "Yeah, right!" can mean "I totally agree" or "I totally disagree" depending on how it is said.

Each community has its own conventions. The interpretations that work implicitly within your own community could lead to serious misunderstandings if you applied them to people from another culture.

Lexogram teaches you to be mindful of how your cultural assumptions are different from those of the people you communicate with. It helps you decode the non-verbal messages of others, and to use the right non-verbal signals yourself, so that meaning is not lost.

The same but different

Before you can fully acquire the meaning of a new expression, you need to see it many times and in a slightly different context each time. It helps to know that you have met an expression before, and to be able to return to all the places where you met it. It helps to compare and contrast the new expression with words you already know, to see how each fits into the web of meaning in your new language.

Lexogram shows you new words in red. Each time you demonstrate that you have understood the word it will fade to black a little, so you can tell at a glance how well you should expect to remember its meaning.

Many words have more than one meaning. For example, the word "set" has different meanings when it refers to concrete, collectables, a date, a dance, a direction or the sun. When a familiar word appears with a new meaning, it will once again be shown in red. This warns you not to confuse it with the meanings you already know.

You can right-click on any word to bring up a page which shows the history of your encounters with the word, and which links it to all the words you know (and some that you don't) that have a related meaning. You can add your own links and examples to this page


Making connections

A new language makes you richer by giving you a new way of seeing the world. If you translate everything back into your own language, you may miss much of the subtlety of the language you are learning. If you can't easily compare your own language with the new language, you may feel lost.

Lexogram helps you discover how reality is mapped in the language you are learning, so that you can begin to think like a native. It also gives you graphic tools to create your own connections both within the new language and between it and your own language.

External memory

There is so much to learn in a new language. The more you learn, the more there is that you could possibly forget.

Lexogram acts as a back-up for your brain. As you learn, it records your progress in a database. If you choose, your information can be saved to the servers on the Lexogram site, where you can connect to it securely from any computer anywhere.

The database can give you objective feedback on how fast you are progressing. It can compare your progress with that of others who started at a similar level at the same time as you. It can help you find an expression you have forgotten if you can remember the context in which you learnt it.


A community of learners

Lexogram gives you access to a whole community of language learners. Some are learning your native language, others are native speakers of the language you are learning. Still others are learning the same language that you are, but come from different backgrounds and cultures.

If you choose, you can take our Personal Profile questionnaire, so that the database can find other learners with a similar profile to yours, and let you know anonymously which activities worked best for them.

If you choose to make parts of your profile public, others can follow your progress and your recommendations, and learn how to learn better thanks to your successes. You can contact other language learners on-line, and use video and whiteboard tools that have been specially designed to make cross-cultural communications easier. You can create your own public and private groups to discuss different topics.

Endless new material

The content for the Lexogram method is stored on an Internet server. People like yourself are adding new material to the server all the time. If you are looking for something in particular, and you find it doesn't exist yet, you can post a request to the community as a whole. In exchange, you can check the requests of others, and see if there is anything that you could offer.

You can create new material for the entire community, or you can create a private lesson for one individual or group.

Lexogram is yours to make what you will of it.