Language Show, London Olympia

I learned 1,000 words in under 2 weeks and I'm still not happy...

We exhibited at the yearly LANGUAGE SHOW in London, for the third year running, and as usual I gave a Public Lecture on accelerated vocabulary acquisition, and how to increase your vocab learning 5 times faster than using traditional methods.

We spoke to hundreds of the visitors non-stop for three days.

During the show a gentleman approached me to say that he had bought our 200 Words a Day! Learn French Course 1 and had learned 1,000 words in less than 2 weeks, but that he was not happy.

"Would you like to know why?" he asked.

Of course we want to know why.

We have given the gentleman the means to learn 1,000 words in a couple of weeks, AND he has done it, but somewhere we are not offering enough.

He then proceeded to go into the detail of the mathematical calculations used to calculate the 'Worst Words' lessons, and felt that the calculation methodology should be changed.

I explained that Tom our resident IT programmer nerd-geek (well he's not really a nerd or a geek, but he is brainy enough to be considered one), can programme anything and he can change the algorithms, mathematical calculations etc, etc to any sensible method.

To me, the one we have is fine, it calculates your scores over all the words on which you have been tested and ranks the worst thirty, putting them in to a lesson called 'My Worst Words', and you can go to that lesson at any time. But if you can suggest a better method we will look at it carefully, and, if we agree that it is superior, and that it is practical, we will implement it.

"But hang on, you are telling me you learned 1,000 words in less than 2 weeks, so the software works, and the goal of the software is to rapidly teach vocabulary!"

Then the penny dropped!

"Are you by any chance a software programmer?" I asked.

"Yes, as a matter of fact I am..." he said.


I have found that software programmers sometimes take this kind of approach. Not all of course, just a small few of them.

They are sometimes so clever at programming, and so knowledgeable about HOW the MECHANICS of a programme's code works that they can lose sight of the original goal.... which in our case is to learn loads of foreign language vocabulary fast, have tools to remember it, and consolidate this learning.

When you start to USE the language, in conversation, it becomes 'second-nature' and eventually, like training wheels on a bike, they are no longer needed. Once you are immersed in a language in a country where it is the spoken language (and preferably you 'abandon' your mother tongue) your intuition via 'the third ear' comes into play.

He then went on to say he has found a new programme with which he is learning 50 words a day! He has to input all the words into it himself, but he likes the programming in it.


He promised to email us with the suggested programming changes but to date we have not heard. (Still not heard a year later in 2007) But, as I said, we can often quite easily add changes to the programming.

Anyway, my points are:

  1. Our programme did what it says on the tin.
  2. Don't lose sight of the goal when learning using our system (or any system).
  3. If you do not like our programming in any way, or any feature of the courses, drop us an email or contact us via the 'Contact Us' form on our website and tell us the suggested improvements you want. We can make changes if we agree, and ....
  4. We have made many dozens of changes from customer feedback, adding little tweaks here and there, putting things in, changing things around, adding loads of new features with each version.
  5. In fact we are adding new things all the time to the programme, and if you buy a later version of the programme (say Course 2, having bought Course 1, it will update your earlier course, automatically adding any new changes without affecting your databases.

Don't lose sight of the woods for the trees.

Originally written:10 November, 2006
Update: 15 September, 2007.

2007 Exhibitors at the Language Show, Olympia, London

I've decided not to exhibit at this year's Language Show as we have so many other commitments, however I would encourage anyone interested in teaching or learning languages to go along.

Check out our accelerated language learning courses before and after you go to the Language Show.

The exhibitors at the 2007 Language Show, London Olympia from 2 to 4 November, 2007:

  • Adult Learning Inspectorate
  • Advance Materials
  • Affinitalia
  • Answer English
  • AQA
  • Asset Languages (OCR)
  • Association for Language Learning
  • Association of Spanish Schools in Galicia (AGAES)
  • Association of Spanish Schools in Malaga
  • Auralog
  • Authentik
  • Basque Government
  • BBC Active
  • BBC Learning English
  • Blue Lynx Multi-lingual Recruitment Ltd
  • Boardworks Ltd
  • Brilliant Publications
  • Bwrdd Yr Iaith Gymraeg/Welsh Language Board
  • Centro de Lenguas Modernas Universidad de Granada
  • Cactus Language TEFL
  • Caledonia Languages Abroad langauge culture adventure
  • Cámara De Comercio Industria Valladolid
  • Castilla y Leon: Think in Spanish
  • Castelar Centro de Estudio Hispanicos
  • Chateau du Broutel
  • CILT - the National Centre for Languages
  • CME Books Europe
  • Colegio Delibes
  • Consejeria de Educacion Embajada de Espana
  • Defence School of Languages
  • Department for Education and Skills
  • Discours Et Methode
  • Don Quijote
  • Early Start Languages
  • Eclipse Books
  • Eco Manufacturing
  • EDpaX
  • Edexel
  • Esperanto-Asocio de Britio
  • European Employment Services
  • European Schoolbooks Ltd
  • Eurotalk Interactive
  • From All Around The World
  • GADE - Association of Spanish Academies of Antigua
  • Gazelle Book Services Ltd
  • Geocenter International Ltd
  • Goethe Institute
  • Grant and Cutler Ltd
  • Habla con Ene S.L.
  • Harcourt
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Heinemann
  • Hodder Education
  • Hungarian Cultural Centre
  • IBM in Ireland
  • ic language
  • Institute of Linguists
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting
  • Institutul Cultural Roman
  • Instituto Cervantes
  • International Academy
  • International House World Organisation
  • International Press Network Ltd
  • Italian Cultural Institute
  • Kristall International
  • Lanacos
  • Language Courses Abroad Ltd
  • La Jolie Ronde
  • Lanacos Language Courses
  • LBOL Language Books Online / Apple Languages
  • LCL International Booksellers
  • Le Chateau de Broutel
  • Learn Spanish in Valladolid
  • Lexus for Languages
  • Linguascope
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Mary Glasgow Magazines
  • McGraw Hill Professional
  • Mester Spanish Language Courses
  • Merrill Brink International
  • MLG Publishing (mini flashcards)
  • Norwich Institute for Language Education
  • Oxford House College
  • Oxford University Press
  • Parlance Languages Ltd
  • Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Ed.
  • Research In Motion
  • Romanian Cultural Institute
  • Rosetta Stone
  • RWS Group - Translation Division
  • School of Oriental and African Studies
  • Sing-a-Lang
  • Sing in French Ltd
  • Soccerlingua
  • Talking Dice Ltd
  • Talkingpen Publications
  • Taskmagic
  • Taylor and Francis - Routledge
  • Teachers Talking French
  • The British Council
  • The Corporate Executive Board
  • The French Ecole Ltd
  • The Japan Foundation - Language Centre
  • The Language Factory
  • The Language Stickers Company
  • Travellers Worldwide
  • TV5
  • UCLES - Asset Languages
  • Univ. Cambridge - School Classics Project
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Virtual Language Systems
  • Visiting International Faculty Program Teach in the USA
  • VSO
  • Workers Educational Organisation
  • Zador Spanish Schools

The 120 exhibitors include representation from language associations, companies giving correspondence courses, courses for families wanting to learn languages, cultural institutes.

There are always hundreds of dictionaries, and their many of their publishers, foreign embassies and ministries, language exchange programmes.

Many government departments are represented at the Language Show such as the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

If you want to know about language careers, holiday destinations, learning a language for business or pleasure, language learning holidays, language schools in the UK and abroad they are all there at the annual Language Show, London.

Language study guides are there by the thousand, and language teaching centres represented, and loads of language teaching materials on display.

Multi-media, online learning technologies feature prominently at the Language Show, London Olympia.

Also represented will are overseas property sellers, people promoting self-study courses, visitor and tourist boards, translation and interpreting companies, TV and video language courses, plus representation from universities, colleges and volunteer programmes.

Enjoy the Language Show!

Any person interested in language learning or teaching should attend.

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