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Say It Right Series

Strategic CPod Lesson Selection

Posted by koujiacheng December 22, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: pleco, Anki, SRS, computer, unix, statistics, frequency

I've come up with an idea that I'm just now starting to use and am really optimistic about.  It is a way to figure out which is the best ChinesePod lesson to study next.  I've written some very rough programs (bash scripts) that make an informed decision.  In a nutshell, it figures out which lesson's unlearned vocabulary is the most frequently used.

To do this, it requires 3 things:

1.  An exhaustive list of your vocabulary, not an easy thing to get unless you use pleco, anki or some other program that can track your vocabulary.

2.  Chinese character & bigram frequency data, freely available online.

3.  ChinesePod vocabulary lists for each lesson that you want to choose between.  (this is not easy to get, it would be nice if they would make this available to us in a more straightforward manner.)

So the script reads in your vocabulary, the frequency data and then looks at the vocab list in each lesson.  For each lesson, it figures out which words or characters that you have not yet learned, and then looks all those words/characters in the frequency table.  it then adds those frequencies up and then divides the total by the number of new words.  The results can then be sorted to determine the highest scored lesson, which is the lesson you should study next.

Currently, I'm using 2 separate programs to do this for single characters and bigrams.  I don't have a frequency list for words of arbitrary length, but it sure would be useful if I could find one.

Has anyone else done anything like this?

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