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  • Getting Started

In this section, for illustrative purposes, we will create a fictitious character named “Mike”.

It's January 1 today.

As usual, Mike started his MBP. He then downloaded the newest version of “Innumerable Words (iW)” from Underway Software's official website. Mike unzipped the downloaded file and moved the installation file in the unzipped folder to his Application folder. The software started to run immediately after he double-clicked the “i” icon. For his convenience, Mike dragged the icon out of the Finder window and onto the Dock.

Now, Mike decided to study a new material which was a recording of a lesson from a classic English textbook, and the material was just above his level. From the File Browser panel at the right side of the interface, he found the audio file and listened to it for a while. It seemed that this file was both interesting and proper for him, so he dragged it to the working area at the left side of the interface.

The file then started to load, and the waveform of the recording appeared in the interface. At the moment, there was only one “sentence” (waveform) in the lesson. Mike clicked on the scissor icon in the function zone, and the program began to auto split the waveform into smaller segments/sentences. The whole process was done in a flash.

Mike checked the result and made some alterations to the length of some sentences. To adjust the start or end of a sentence, you will have to select the sentence first, and then drag with your mouse to alter the start/end of this sentence. Mike thought that the time interval between some sentences were too long, so he pressed “Ctrl” key and dragged with his mouse to adjust these sentences. There were some long sentences that hadn't been split apart, so he double-clicked on the split point of a sentence and manually split it. For some other sentences that shouldn't have been split apart, Mike started to merge them together by selecting a sentence and pressing “=” to merge it with the next sentence. To save time and improve efficiency, Mike decided to delete the sentences that had been remembered by heart. So he selected the sentence and pressed “Delete” to remove it.

There were only a couple of sentences that need adjusting or deleting. Once it's done, Mike clicked on the space bar to play the audio file. He then clicked on the speaker icon in the function zone to open the “Audio Mixer and Loop Setup” dialog. In this dialog box, he selected “Sentence loop” so that he could listen several times until he understood a sentence, and set the loop interval to be 90% so that he could have enough time to repeat what he had heard. Now, Mike noticed that the speed of the recording was slow and the pitch too low for him, so he raised the speed and the pitch of the recording. He also managed to change the 3-band equalizer in a way that made the recording sound more pleasing to the ear. When those options in the dialog were all set to his satisfaction, Mike turned off the dialog.

After Mike had listened to the text several times and tried to repeat the sentences he heard, he began to have a rough idea of which sentences were difficult for him. He did not stop playing. Instead, he pressed “Enter” and began to do dictation and translation practice right away. In dictation mode, the current sentence will keep repeating, with a constant time interval between each repetition. Press “Option + Tab”, and you will be able to shift between dictation mode and translation mode. When you finish the current sentence, press “Enter” to play the next sentence.

It turned out that there were some new words in several sentences that Mike could not write out, but he didn't want to give up easily. He tried to write according to the sound of the words and translate in a way that would allow effective communication.

Once he had finished, Mike checked his textbook for mistakes/inaccuracies in his dictation and translation practice. By double-clicking these sentences in the pages area, he marked them as “unfamiliar sentences.” He then paid special attention to these sentences and repeated them with the recording until his mouth felt dry.

Please note that Mike did not mark all difficult sentences as unfamiliar sentences. If a sentence is too complicated in vocabulary or grammar, or if you just don't like it, then there is no need to mark it as an unfamiliar sentence. As long as the new words, grammatical points and sentence patterns in it are in frequent use, you will come across them again sooner or later.

There were some important points that Mike would like to write down for later review, so he clicked on the pen icon in the function zone and opened the “Course Note Book” panel, in which he did some note-taking.

In order to evaluate if he had grasped the lesson well enough, he started to retell the text (not recite, but retell), and saved his recording for self-correction.

Mike looked at his watch. It had taken him over an hour to learn this material of about 2 minutes. ‘Let's call it a day.’ Mike said to himself, and clicked on the second icon from the left in the function zone to archive the course. Mike stretched himself. ‘It's time to have a rest.’ With that said, he turned off his computer.

At this point, you may have realized that Mike adopted a quite common and effective way of learning. However, Innumerable Words (iW) means much more than this. It is highly customizable, adaptable and flexible, which means that you do not have to follow the common methods of language learning such as vocabulary memorizing, retelling, repetition, dictation, interpretation, translation, etc. With iW, you can have your own way of learning.

Now, let's follow Mike to have a look at the most amazing and breathtaking features of iW!

It's January 2. Mike turned on his computer and started iW. The course that he studies yesterday had been loaded automatically, and the first unfamiliar sentence started to load for his review. This was called the translation mode, in which Mike had to do translation practice for all unfamiliar sentences he learned yesterday. Mike tried to recall the first sentence. After he typed in his translation, Mike pressed “Enter” to continue translating the next sentence. Poor Mike! No matter how hard he tried, he could not figure out how to translate the second unfamiliar sentence. So he pressed “Ctrl + G” to have a look at the original text of this sentence. Finally, he managed to translate all unfamiliar sentences in this course.

At this point, a window popped out inquiring him if he would like to do some interpretation exercise. Mike selected “interpretation” and started the exercise. He clicked on the red button in the dialog to record what he was interpreting. When he interpreted the first sentence, he clicked on the “play” button. The software then began to play loop Mike's recording and the original recording of the sentence. By contrast, Mike realized his errors in pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. So he gave it another try in hope that he could correct these errors. In fact, he recorded for several times until he felt that his recording sounded quite similar to the original recording. Then he clicked on “next sentence” to interpret another sentence, and yet another, until all unfamiliar sentences were interpreted.

Now Mike opened the “Course Note Book” panel by clicking on the pen icon in the function zone. Once he had a thorough review of the notes he had taken, he started to retell the entire text. He then compared this retelling with that of yesterday. Mike was quite surprised to see that with only one day's effort, he was able to retell in a more fluent way. As proof of his progress, he decided to replace yesterday's retelling with today's retelling.

Well, congratulations! So far, today's review was all completed. The next review would be due in two days, and the third review would take place in 5 days. And the fourth and the fifth, until he reached the max review interval. That is to say, the software will automatically remind Mike to review the course when he was about to forget. This way, through repeated review, the newly learned knowledge would eventually be turned into long-term memory, and Mike would be able to speak English as if it was his mother tongue.

At this time, Mike clicked on the gear icon in the function zone. In the popped-up menu, he selected “Browse today's LRF”. There was an audio file in the Finder, which was exactly the mobile file generated after today's review. Mike moved the file onto his cell phone and turned off his computer. He then picked up his cell phone, put on his Bluetooth earphone and headed out.

The audio file for cell phone is somewhat different from the original audio file of the course. When you listen to a mobile audio file, you will find that the unfamiliar sentences tend to repeat for several times, and there will be time interval between each play. You can change the play times and interval percentage from the “Preferences panel” (Shortcut key to open the panel is “Ctrl + ,”).

During the rest of the day, Mike kept listening to the mobile file in his cell phone with every spare minute until he returned home and started a new course.

From now on, Mike had 3 new things to do everyday: to review previous courses, to study new courses, and to practice in spare time using his cell phone.

Today is December 31. Over the past year, Mike's foreign language skills has improved enormously.

What?

Don't envy him, because you, too, can be like him as long as you start to learn with this wonderful software.

Download and try iW right now!

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