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Text Study Tool


The Text Study Tool in JTLanguage helps you in studying text in your target language. You see the text you are studying, and can click on items in your target languages to see the host language definitions. A color-coding scheme illustrates the status or grading of all the words or phrases. You can use the Text Study Tool on any of the textual content types in JTLanguage. Find a video walk-through here: Text Study Tool (Video)


Navigate to Text Study Tool by clicking the "Study" button on the text or study list page, or by selecting a "Study" node in the course or plan tree control. Then from the "Tool" drop-down menu of the Study Tool page, select the "Text" tool.

Page Layout

The Text Study Tool page will look something like this, on a desktop:

Text study tool (desktop).

Or this, on a mobile:

Text study tool (mobile).

Basically you have two panes, either side by side or vertically stacked, based on the current pane orientation option, which you can toggle via the orientation button next to the Study Item pane title ( or ).

The first pane shows you the text content, and the second, labeled "Study Item" will show selected words or phrases and their definitions and audio buttons.

In the text content pane, you have a number of formatting options, just like the normal content page, via the latter drop-down menu formatting options at the top, and the Hide/Show language links at the bottom. The latter lets you control which languages are displayed, and if any are hidden, the "Show translate" link controls whether the ‘T’ for Translate buttons are shown, for selective translation.

Initially, the words making up the text may be highlighted in the color yellow. This means it is a "New" word you haven’t studied before in the text tool. If the word is highlighted in a shade of the color green, it means it’s an "Active" word being studied, and the lightness or darkness of the color corresponds to the last grading in which you indicated the level of knowing a word, a darker color representing a lower grade or not knowing the word well, and a lighter color representing a higher grade or knowing the word better. No highlighting means it is a word you previously marked "Learned". Blue color shading of a phrase means the phrase is "Active", with the shading also corresponding to the grading. Pink color shading of phrase means that it was changed to "New".

Selecting Words and Phrases

On a desktop or laptop version, hovering the mouse over a word will darken the background highlighting or shading, giving you an indication that it is clickable. In any of the versions, clicking or tapping on a word will cause the word, its definitions, and audio buttons to be displayed in the second, or "Study Item" pane, also with buttons for grading or marking the state of the items. Holding down the shift key while selecting another word in the same sentence will select a phrase. (At present, it doesn’t support overlapping phrases.)

Word and Phrase Definition

The first time a word or phrase is selected, the definition shown comes from one of the following sources, in this order. If the word is in a "Words" study list content, the definition will come from there. If not, the word is looked up in JTLanguage’s dictionary database. If the word has multiple definitions or senses, these will all be used. If not found in the dictionary, Google translate is used, and the translation is added to the dictionary for other users (which saves me the translation expense). The first time you click on a word, it will automatically be marked with grade "1" and display in green in the text, assuming you don’t know the word. You can change this with the grading or status buttons in the Study Item pane. or clear a current word or phrase selection, click the "Clear" button next to the "Study Item" label.

When you've "graded" a word or phrase explicitly with the "1" to "5" buttons in the Study Item pane (or implicitly by clicking on it for the first time), this puts the item into the "Active" state. The other two possible states are "New" and "Learned", and these have buttons too. The buttons also show the current state or grading of the displayed item by showing the associated button in a darker shade.

Note that the words or phrases that make up the text are stored in a vocabulary database keyed to you. When the text tool is selected for a text content, it first collects all the words and previously marked phrases used in the text, and looks them up in your local vocabulary database, adding them using the translation process described above if not already present. Thus, if you go to a different text content and run the text study tool, any words seen previously will show the last status you selected for that word, if any.

Once a word or phrase is selected and displayed in the Study Item pane, you can change its status or grading with the buttons provided in the pane. You can also edit or add the definitions. If there are multiple definitions, you can prioritize them by changing their order using the Move Up or Move Down buttons. You can delete definitions you don’t want to see. Note that this deletes them in your private database, not the public dictionary.

There are actually two lists of definitions stored for each word or phrase item. The section labeled "All definitions" will optionally display the second list, which shows all the available definitions. Use the Show/Hide button to show or hide this list. Use the "Promote" button to copy definitions up to the main list. You can edit, delete, or reorder these as well. This allows you to focus on specific meanings as you wish, as some words might have several less common meanings.

Vocabulary Lists

Note that you can browse and manage these vocabulary items by means of the "Manage Vocabulary" page, which you can get to via the "Local Vocabulary" button under the Study Item pane, or the "Vocabulary List" link at the bottom of the main content area. The "Global Vocabulary" button takes you to a "Manage Vocabulary" page the will display all the vocabulary items from all content that you have used the text tool on, paging if necessary. Get to this page also via the "Manage Vocabulary" item of the "Home" menu.

With these Manage Vocabulary pages you can browse vocabulary items, and can grade or change the status of individual or groups of items, the latter by using the selection check boxes and the grading and status buttons at the bottom of the page. You can also remove items from your vocabulary database (but which will be added back if you visit content in the text study tool that contains the items).

Other Operations

In the Text Study tool page, you’ll also see some other buttons under the Study Item pane that can operate on the whole local vocabulary list.

The "Learned All" button will change the status of all vocabulary items to "Learned".

The "Learned New" button will change only the items that are marked as "New" to "Learned". This is convenient for when you’ve selected all the words you don’t know, as you then then just mark everything else as "Learned". You’ll see why this is convenient shortly.

The "Forget All" button changes all items to "New".

The "Forget Learned" button changes only "Learned" items to "New".

The "Delete My Phrases" button removes any phrases you have marked yourself.

The "Local Vocabulary" button takes you to the Manage Vocabulary page for the vocabulary items associated with the current text.

The "Global Vocabulary" button takes you to the Manage Vocabulary page for the all the vocabulary items from all your previous text study sessions of all text content items.

The "Study Vocabulary" button takes you directly to the Flash Tool page for studying the vocabulary items associated with the current text. Note that it changes the current source of the tool to "Vocabulary". You can use the "Done" button of the Flash Tool page to return to the Text Study page.

Memorizing Vocabulary Items

Now let’s say you’ve used the text study tool on a study list content item. You’ve read through the text and marked items you didn’t know. At this point, you could go on to another text content and study it, assuming you will eventually learn the unknown words as they pop up over and over again. Or, if you would like to work on memorizing the lesser known words right away, note that you can use all the other study tools on these vocabulary items as well as on the study lists themselves. This is by means of the "Source" drop-down menu at the top of the other study tool pages. Use this to select where the tools get the study items, either from the study lists in the lesson ("Study List") or from the vocabulary from the text study tool ("Vocabulary").

To do this, select a different tool via the "Tool" drop-down menu, and find the "Source" drop down menu at the top, and change it to show "Vocabulary", as opposed to "Study List". The study tool will then use the vocabulary list as its source. For convenience, the "Study Vocabulary" button on the Text Study page will take you to the Flash tool with the Vocabulary as source directly.

However, note that the study tools will use the items marked "New" as well. Therefore, it’s probably a good habit, once you’ve picked out all the words you didn’t know or need to review using the Text Study Tool, to click the "Learned New" button, to mark all the commonly used words you already know as "Learned". They then are excluded from the study tools.

The Text Study mechanism is also useful for filtering word study lists. You can use the Text Study Tool on a Words list, select all the words you don’t know or need to review, click "Learned New", and then use the Flash or other tools to focus on just the Active words.

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