Ville for SWELL Users - Manual
This page describes a research project carried out 2004--2009. Information is not being updated.
Download of the program and server functionality to run it have now been disabled
Hello! Welcome to this Swedish vocabulary and pronunciation course"My name is Ville, and if you want, I will be your personal Swedish teacher for some time to come. I will hopefully help you to learn some new stuff. The main focus of this course is on pronunciation and vocabulary building, so other aspects of language, such as reading and grammar, you will have to learn elsewhere. (From the SWELL course at KTH for example)"
"By using this program you are also taking part in a research project at KTH aimed at developing new language learning tools in the future. All the interactions you make in the program as well as all recordings you make are being logged and saved to a server to create the foundation of a database of Swedish pronounced by foreigners.""So here's the deal:
I will help you improve your Swedish and in return you will help science to develop better language learning tools in the future by giving your consent that your recordings can be used for research purposes.
Everything will of course be completely anonymous, but we need to know a few things such as your gender, age, and which languages you speak, in order to make use of your data."
DownloadThe first thing you must do is to download the program.
- It is quite big (~70 Mb). Because it has pictures and recordings of over 750 words in Swedish
- The program is currently only available for Windows (95/XP/Vista/Win 7)
- You must have an internet connection not only to download the program, but also to use it.
The content in the folder should look like this.
It is the Ville.exe you should run.
The 'data' folder is where content (pictures, recordings, text etc.) is located.
You're best of to leave it the way it is
Some users with a username that contains 'exotic' non-english charachters, (e.g. , ç, è, ñ, Chinese, Arabic, Greek etc.) have experienced problems when placing Ville under 'My documents'. If you have difficulties starting the program, try moving the whole directory to another location. (e.g. C:\ville).
New userThe first time you use the program you must create a user account. This is done by pressing the white paper on the login page. Here you will fill out some data such as username, age, gender, and so on. This will create a folder on your hard disk, where all your user data will be stored.
Open userThe next time you use the program you open your account by pressing the yellow folder. Select the folder with your username, and in that folder, select the file that ends with .usr, and press open.
User statsAll your previous work will then be read, and you get a page showing how much you have done so far. You have completed the course when all the slots are filled out with green bars.
The perception tabIn the perception part of the program your job is to listen and identify the words placed on the grid in front of you.
Click and listenYou can click on the pictures to hear what they sound like in Swedish, and in that way learn to connect sound and picture.
Control frameIn the middle of the screen there is a control frame with a play button in the middle, surrounded by left, right, up, and down buttons.
When you press the play button I will say one of the words on the screen, and your job is to click on the corresponding picture.
If you select the correct picture, I will say 'rätt', and the picture will turn green. If you make an incorrect selection I will say 'fel', and the picture will turn red. If you don't make any selection at all, the chosen word will turn grey, and I will move on to the next word.
Timeout sliderYou can decide the timeout value yourself by adjusting the slider below the control frame
TopicsWords are organized by topics, such as food or numbers or colors. You can move through the different topics by using the up and down arrows on the control frame or on your keyboard.
Grid resolutionBelow the slider there are some radio buttons where you can select the resolution on the grid. You can choose between two by two, three by three, or four by four.
Game mode, practice mode, and test mode.
Game modeIn game mode you should try to gather as many words as possible in one minute. You get a higher score if you are playing in the four by four grid mode, but it is of course also more difficult to find the right object. It is game over if you get three incorrect answers.
Practice modeIn practice mode you work through all the words in your selected topic or category. after all the words have been displayed you get an opportunity to review the ones you missed or answered incorrectly.
Test modeIn the test mode you also go through all the words in your chosen category, but this time you don't get any feedback on whether you chose the right word or not. All you hear is a sound to signal that you have selected something, and then I move on to the next word. You don't have any time constraints while in the test mode. You get to think as long as you want, and I will repeat the word if you click on the repeat utterance button.
"It is the test that counts in the end. Your test results are shown in the 'user stats' in the login tab, so you can easily see how you are doing, and which topics you still haven't done."
The pronunciation tabIn the pronunciation part of the program words are placed in a deck of cards often called flashcards.
Control frameYou move through the cards by clicking on the left and right arrows on the control frame next to the play button, or on your keyboard.
"I think a good way to use the pronunciation part of the program is in this three step process".
1) Listen and repeatFirst let me introduce all the words to you. By pressing the V button and then the play button, I will say the words one by one. There is a check-button you can select which makes me say every word twice so you have a chance to repeat the word together with me.
Speed sliderThere is also a slider below the Control frame which lets you decide how fast I will go through the words.
TopicsWords are organized by topics, such as food or numbers or colors. You can move through the different topics by using the combo-box, or the up and down arrows on the control frame, or on your keyboard.
Click to listenYou can hear a single word and see its spelling in Swedish by clicking on the card.
MemorizationPut the slider on 'Slow' to allow yourself time to let every word sink in, or put it on 'Fast' to get a bombardment of new words in a rapid succession, and let your brain take care of the memorization in a subliminal way.
Try and see which works best for you.
2) RecordingOnce you have listened and practiced pronouncing some words it's time for you to give the recording mode a shot. The buttons on the top of the control frame are for three different types of recordings.
Play Record PlayWith this mode of recording, I will say the word first and then, the second time, we say the word together. That is the best way to start the recording exercise.
Countdown clicksThere is a check-button where you can choose if you want countdown clicks to help you get the timing right.
Play->RecordWith the second record button I will say the word first and then turn on the recording for you to repeat. It will be easier for you to say it right if you hear me say it first, but not as easy as if we say it together.
RecordThe third button is straight recording. You press the record button first, and then the play button.
Recording in successionAll the words in the deck will be recorded in succession. The card will be marked with a red rectangle when you are in recording mode.
I will listen for you to start speaking, and a yellow box will appear next to the countdown dots. Once you start speaking the box will turn green, and the recording will stop after hearing a short silence.
The relevant part of the recording will be saved and a student recording icon will be shown in the lower left part of the card
3) EvaluationTry to record one deck of cards and then listen and evaluate your own recordings.
Student buttonYour recordings can be reviewed by pressing the S button and then the play button.
Compare your recording with my pronunciation by switching between the S and the V button.
Student+Ville buttonBy pressing the SV button you will hear your own voice and mine at the same time. If you are wearing a headset, which you should, our voices will be separated in one ear each.
The Importance of privacyYou are hopefully sitting in a private room and so you shouldn't need to feel embarrassed as is otherwise very common when beginning to learn a new language. Learning a language is a little bit like being an actor, and playing a part. One needs to practice a lot to get all the fine details right. Remember that only by practicing will you improve. Make many recordings, first together with me, and later alone. Listen, compare and evaluate. Try again.
- With the right button you shuffle the deck so you don't get everything in the same order all the time.
- With the middle button you remove a card from the deck; don't worry -it's not permanent.
- With the left button you can collect cards from all the topics to make your own deck of cards for words that you feel need special attention.
The listen and write tabIn the listen and write section of the program you are supposed to do just that.
Select a topic and press the start button, I will then say a random word from that topic, and you are supposed to write the word.