My LinguaStep

Here's your starting point for all activities once you've got your account created. From here, you can browse through the words from a given chapter, and add or remove them from your list of memorized words. You can also create a customized studysheet containing just the words and parts of speech you want (e.g., just the verbs from the last three chapters you've studied). At the bottom of the page, you can bypass LinguaStep's scheduling and tell it to drill you just on words from specific chapters. In the My Vocabulary section, you'll see all sorts of options, statistics, and links, and these change over time based on how you end up using LinguaStep.

The Cardfile Metaphor

LinguaStep tracks how well you know words by putting them in different groups, or boxes. The more you get a word correct in the various activities, the higher the box it occupies. When you answer incorrectly, the word gets put back down in the lower box. By always focusing your attention on the words you don't know so well, you'll end up spending the least amount of time retaining the most amount of information. Here's a nice graph showing you how many words you have at each level. As words move from one level to the next, you are prompted to review them less and less often.

Starting a New Chapter

When you first start out with words from a new chapter, this matching exercise will get you familiar with them. You can use the process of elimination to guess the right meaning, based on what you know about the language, and what you might know about the other words on the page. Listen to the native audio here and repeat the word back to yourself to check your pronunciation. You'll be using this word in context soon enough, so now's a good time to think of an example sentence in your head. As you match the words correctly, they are removed from your todo list.

Do You Recall?

Finally, flashcards that are easy to use and relevant to what you are studying! Once you've gotten familiar with the new words by completing the matching activity, it's time to see how well you can recall the word from memory. These cards contain accurate and clear pronunications of the words by native speakers, and show the part of speech. Flip through these cards, marking them off as you go depending on whether you're recalling the words or not. LinguaStep keeps track of what you mark right and wrong, and puts the correctly answered ones in another pile so your focus stays on the words you still need to learn. You can change which language shows up first, flag the word for later, and even remove the word from your list if you don't want to see it again.

Find as You Type

Dictionary feeling a little cumbersome? Having trouble remembering all the different ways to say something? Let your fingers do the walking through the entire Al-Kitaab lexicon as well as words your fellow students have submitted. Type in Arabic or English, and possible matches appear instantly as you are still typing. Know the last few letters of a word but not the first? Painful with a paper-based dictionary, but easy with LinguaStep! Just type in the letters you know and explore the results in real-time. LinguaStep is smart about diacritical marks, too, so you'll see "fuzzy" matches listed after any exact matches.

Listen Closely

This activity hones your ability to distinguish between similar sounding words by listening to the native speaker pronounce the word, and then picking the correct spelling from the list. All the words will be similar in sound, but only one word in the list will be spelled correctly. LinguaStep will keep track of your entries, and will show you your problem words more frequently so you're always making the most of your time.

Write What You Hear

This exercise makes sure you can spell the words you're learning. You'll be amazed how much better the words stick in your head when you write them down and associate them with the native audio. LinguaStep is pretty forgiving with how formally you write the word, too, so you can be close enough as well as right. As with the listening activity above, LinguaStep will keep track of your entries so your focus stays on your problem words.

Use it in Context

Once you have enough words under your belt, you'll see a link to this activity. Now that you have gone to all the trouble to learn these words, it's time for you to make meaningful sentences with them. LinguaStep will pick a few words from the most recent chapters you've been studying, and you get to come up with a clever sentence using everything you've been learning about the language along the way in terms of style and grammar. If you don't like the words it has picked for you, you can pick others. If you entered a course code and are associated with a class, then your instructor will see what you wrote and will be able to give you feedback. But on top of that, other LinguaStep students who are at your level (or beyond) will also get to see what you wrote and comment on it. Don't worry, you are anonymous to them and vice versa! If what you wrote gets ranked highly enough, it will get featured as an example sentence for other LinguaStep users.

Share What You Know

When other students submit sentences using words you know, you'll sometimes see a link inviting you to review what they've written. This is a great opportunity for you to reinforce your knowledge by explaining an aspect of the language to a fellow student. It's also a way to learn some new words you might not have seen before.