It’s practically impossible to keep up to date with all the new language learning tools that appear, even with the help of curated lists like Nik Peachey’s Scoop.it! (which is one of the most useful I know of). The trouble with such lists is that they are invariably positive, but when you actually find the time to look at the product, you often wish you hadn’t. I decided to save time for people like me by occasionally writing short posts about things that you can safely forget about. This is the first.
Nik’s take on Vocabulist was this:
It sounds useful, but for anyone involved in language teaching or learning, there is, unfortunately, nothing remotely useful about this tool.
Here’s how it works:
Vocabulist is super easy to use!
1.Upload a Word, PDF, or Text document. You could also copy and paste text.
2.Wait a minute. Feel free to check Facebook while Vocabulist does some thinking.
3.Select the words that you want, confirm spelling, and confirm the correct definition.
4.All Done! Now print it, export it, and study it.
To try it out, I copied and pasted the text above. This is what you get for the first two lines:
The definitions are taken from Merriam-Webster. You scroll down until you find the definition for the best fit, and you can then save the list as a pdf or export it to Quizlet.
For language learners, there are far too many definitions to choose from. For ‘super’, for example, there are 24 definitions and, because they are from Merriam-Webster, they are all harder than the word being defined.
The idea behind Vocabulist could be adapted for language learners if there was a selection of dictionary resources that users could choose from (a selection of good bilingual or semi-bilingual dictionaries and a good monolingual learner’s dictionary). But, as it stands, here’s an app you can forget.