Where Lex fits into the language learning process

1. Taking a language course

The first and most obvious thing to do when setting out to learn a new language is to take a language course to learn basic vocabulary and grammar.
  Lex
Lex is not primarily a tool for beginners, but it can be used by beginners, if it is used both by the teacher and his or her students. In such a case the teacher can use Lex to prepare the course material, which he or she puts on the Web. The students can then use Lex to work on the course material and as they gain familiarity with Lex and the language of study they can gradually move on to work on authentic material.
 

2. Listening

When you learn a new language it is very important to listen to the language right from the start. This can not be overstated, you should listen to the language as much as you can, preferably on a regular basis. Start by listening to the course material over and over again. A good way to do that is to do it when you perform some other activity like commuting back and forth to work, jogging, working out, etc. You do not have to be focused all the time, just keep on listening repeatedly. When you reach more advanced stages you should listen to the radio or watch television as much as you can.
  Lex
Lex has functions by which you can listen to the pronunciation of words and phrases, even if it is not primarily a tool for listening. Lex can be useful, though, when you prepare yourself for a listening activity. The first time you listen to a recording, it is practical to simultaneously view the text in Lex. Because then you can easily look up words and save words in the glossary. That you can also do when you play an audiobook or a song in one tab window and follow the text or lyrics in another tab window.
 

3. Working on your own

When you have reached an intermediate/advanced level you have to work on your own to keep your knowledge alive and to expand your vocabulary. Reading is an important activity to accomplish this. You can of course read books, newspapers, magazines, etc, but you can also read material on the World Wide Web. You will benefit more from your reading activities if you focus on things that really interests you. On the Web you can find interesting articles from every imaginable area of life.
  Lex
This is what Lex is designed for - working on authentic material on the World Wide Web
With Lex you can:
Look up words on any web page in several dictionaries simultaneously just with a mouse click.
Build up your own glossary from looked up words.
Categorize the words in the glossary in customizable categories.
Listen to the pronunciation (produced by an artificial voice) of the words in the glossary.
Save sound files, containing word pronunciation, in the glossary.
Look up words (on any web page) in the glossary by hovering the mouse over the words.
Create gap-filling exercises from the words in the glossary (from all the words or a selection).
Mark words on any web page with different color markings.
Make certain aspects of a text stand out by switching the color markings on and off.
Easily turn a web page with marked words into a gap-filling exercise.
Get aid and visual feedback when running a gap-filling exercise.
Save web pages (with or without marked words) locally on your computer.
Run gap-filling exercises on saved web pages.
Listen to the pronunciation (by an artificial voice) of words and sentences on any web page.
 

4. Practicing

It is of course important to practice the language of study as often as you can, both speaking and writing. I do not think though, that speaking should be stressed to much in the beginning. It can be very frustrating and discouraging to try to speak before you have enough knowledge to do so. When you have reached a certain level and start to understand the language of study you will naturally start to speak and at that point in time it is important to take every chance you can get to practice.
  Lex
You will not use Lex directly when you practice a language, but you will benefit from it indirectly by being able to understand and use words and phrases that you have acquired during your Lex studying sessions.
 

Conclusion

Lex is, as should be evident from the above, a tool for the intermediate/advanced language learner to work on authentic texts on his or her own. Even if Lex is a tool, that to some extent, focuses on reading, it will not only improve your reading skill, it will also have a great impact on other language skills like writing, listening and speaking.

English

Language Learning Express is written in English (i.e. commands, menus and help texts are in English). To be able to use Lex you have to be proficient enough in English to be able to use an English program. That can of course be challenging, but if you are studying English, you will most likely benefit from that challenge.

Lex Sessions

Lex contains two main windows, each of which in turn contains tab windows. The tab windows in the upper main window are used to access dictionary and grammar sites. The tab windows in the lower main window are used to access the sites that you choose to work on. Lex can be set up to study virtually any language just by changing the web sites that are accessed. Such a setup is called a Lex session.
On the Lex home site's Sessions section there are several tables with Lex sessions with different target and source languages. These are session examples and you should modify them to suit your needs. You can set up your own sessions either from scratch or by modifying the supplied sessions. We encourage you to share your Lex sessions with other Lex users. See the Lex Help function for more information on how to do that. 
 
 
© 2007- LearnWare.se