Vokabulary Learning Workflows

Using the Language Learning Personas in the following we define their usage goals and workflows for vocabulary trainers. We divide the workflows in groups of different experience levels and provide typical scenarios for each level/group.

In all descriptions we refer to the application with the term "trainer" to avoid assumptions about actual applications or experiences with specific applications.

Proficiency: Starter

Learning for a Test (Camille)

goal: Camilla has a vocabulary test in school and has to learn 60 new words

  1. she starts the trainer
  2. subgoal: she wants to create a learning session containing only the words used in the test
    1. she creates a new vocabulary document
    2. she adds the 60 words to this list and also provides times for irregular verbs
  3. subgoal: she wants to train the words until she really nows them (and not stop earlier
    1. she selects the created learning session
    2. she selects a flip cards learning mode
    3. she trains the words until she is confident that she will pass the test with a good grade


  • this training goal is not suited for Leitner boxes? (there will be no intervals between training sessions)
  • new words must slowly enter set of trained words to provide a feeling of learning success (time interval model?)
  • a simple editor is needed
  • trainer and editor must be able to handle irregular verbs

Prepare for Holidays (Gan)

goal: Gan has four weeks until his vacations in Barcelona, Spain, and wants to use this time frame to learn daily use phrases in Spanish:

  1. he starts the trainer
  2. subgoal: he wants to learn what to do with this program/where to start learning
    1. he tells the trainer that he wants to learn the basics of Spanish
    2. the trainer offers possible ways (lessons/learning plans) to achieve this goal
  3. subgoal: he wants to start training immediately for a fixed time interval
    1. he starts where the trainer told him to start for this goal
    2. he performs flash-card learning until his planned time is over
    3. he asks the trainer what he achieved today
    4. he closes the program
  4. subgoal: he wants to continue learning
    1. he starts the trainer
    2. he tells the trainer that he want to continue his learning goal
    3. (repeat former step)


  • guidance is needed for starters
  • tight integration with learning resources is important
  • stopping and continuing learning must be supported
  • intermediate results should be given

Proficiency: Basic

Learn Basic Vocabulary (Jan)

goal: Jan wants to acquire a basic vocabulary in the chosen language (Thai)

  1. He starts the vocabulary trainer and downloads a collection called "500 most common thai words".
  2. He starts training using the flashcard training mode
  3. He continues with this collection until he knows the words reasonably well and then downloads the next collection (words 501-1000).


  • Sound is important for this type of training, especially for tonal languages.
  • Downloading collection like this must not include downloading 500 separate sound clips.
  • The collections should be broken up into shorter sessions because 500 words is a lot to bite off (there are no natural "lesson" unit in this type of learning).
  • After the first sessions there will be a mix of new words and partially learned words so a well developed spacing and prioritization algorithm is important.
  • After the first collection is worked through, there will be several collections active at the same time so a good overview of what to do next is important (dashboard).

Proficiency: Independent

Maintain Vocabulary (Tina)

goal: Tina already gained a vocabulary of about 3000 words by using the vocabulary trainer, from which she regularly uses only 1000 words. She want to use the trainer to maintain her vocabulary at the current level (or increase it slightly) by investing only a fixed regular planned time for this.

  1. she starts the trainer
  2. subgoal: select the training set with words she wants to refresh
    1. she selects the language (necessary step?)
    2. she selects out of an list of courses/training sets the set she wants to maintain
  3. subgoal: she wants to train the words for fixed time period of 1 hour
    1. she selects a flip cards learning mode
    2. she trains the words
    3. she stops training after 1 hour


  • typical case of Leitner box training, where learning breaks are big (~7 days)
  • stopping a training should not have negative effects (statistics correctly stored, etc.)
  • would a training plan be interesting for Tina? (combined with notifications/activities)
  • do we speak about a fixed word set or may it be changed since last learning, and if yes are there consequences for the learning?
  • does Tina always want to refresh everything?

Lesson Contributor Workflows

Teacher Preparing Homework for the Pupils (Lise)

Create Vocabulary List for "German Food" (Lise)

goal: Lise wants to create vocabulary lists for her students for the current class topic.

  1. she starts the editor
  2. subgoal: she wants to create a new lesson
    1. she creates a lesson
    2. she adds several sublessons/units to group the vocabulary
  3. subgoal: she wants to add words from an existing vocabulary file
    1. she opens the existing file
    2. she copies the existing vocabulary
    3. she pasts the vocabulary in the new file
  4. subgoal: she wants to add new words
    1. the looks at the individual units and adds new words
  5. subgoal: she wants to publish the file at her website
    1. she saves her vocabulary file
    2. she puts the file at the website


  • copy/paste or otherwise import functionality needed
  • Lise is not necessarily aware of that she would export a file including her testing grades

Preparing a General Wordlist (Lise)

This page was last edited on 2 March 2014, at 14:18. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.