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Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher, as its name indicates, is a vocabulary teacher so if you want to increase the number of words you have in mind, Gerry’s Vocabulary Teacher can help you out. But this great tool is not exactly oriented to use it as a personal trainer. It’s more like an English teachers’ assistant to help those teachers teach their students new words. This software basically consists in a huge database containing more than 34,000 sentences which illustrate over 2,500 headwords. Each word offers at least 10 sentences to exemplify its use. So, what can teachers do with this application? Well, the whole purpose of Gerry’s Vocabulary Teacher is to help real life teachers to create, in a fast and easy manner, practice exercises for their students, according the level, or even search for example sentences that include the vocabulary the students are working on at the moment.
One aspect that gives prestige to this application is that it includes the vocabulary contained in the Academic Word List, as developed at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.
You may be asking yourself what make Gerry’s Vocabulary Teacher different from a regular dictionary, and it’s a legitimate question. But the correct question is how your brain does to remember new words. Is it memory only or is it associative thinking? If you agree that the associative thinking takes an important roll in this matter, you will naturally see that it’s not enough to have a list of words and their meanings. You need to see the words in contexts that will help you associate their meanings with other meanings, and include the new words in a sort of meanings net. So Gerry’s Vocabulary Teacher intents to expose the students to new vocabulary in various contexts, showing words in a minimum of 10 different contexts or parts of speech, if it’s possible. Also, if a particular word has been used in famous quotations or proverbs, these lasts will be shown to help the students remember that word.
As mentioned before, the main purpose of Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher is allowing teachers to create practice exercises for their students, either paper-based exercises or web-based exercises. There are four basic steps in creating an exercise:
1. Select a word from the word list box.
2. Select an appropriate sentence from the sentences that appear in the sentence list box.
3. Press the Use button under the sentence list box to add the sentence to the output list box. Repeat this process until you have enough sentences for an exercise, then:
4. Press the RTF button to create a paper-based exercise, or the JMatch or JCloze buttons to create Web-based exercises.
If you’re wondering for system requirements you don’t worry about that because Gerry’s Vocabulary Teacher is an extremely lightweight software, taking only about 5Mb of space on your hard drive, or about as much space as one song file. The software is designed to run on Windows platforms so if you’re a Mac user you will need to use a Windows emulator to run this tool. With the demo, you can see the entire program and its contents. The only limitation is that when building a gap-fill exercise, the evaluation copy only allows you to create an exercise with 5 sentences, and only using keywords starting with letters from the first half of the alphabet. If you decide to purchase the program, a user-name and key will be sent to you, which allow you to register. Registering will instantly enable the entire program.
- It contains a huge words database
- It allows to create both paper-based exercises and web-based exercises
- The trial version has few limitations
- Poor interface quality
- Use on network is not available