EdUHK’s Personalised Vocabulary Learning System

Traditional education focuses on homework and examination drills. However, comparing with repetitive training, allowing students to choose the topics and the ways of their daily practice can effectively arouse their learning motivation. Therefore, Dr Zou Di at the Department of English Language Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, designed a personalised vocabulary learning system, so that students are able to practice English according to their interests and preferences.

The system applies the theoretical framework of Nation and Webb's (2011) checklist for technique feature analysis, covering a comprehensive set of factors that facilitate effective word learning. It includes a large number of tasks and a wide range of task types. Importantly, the system recommends personalised word learning tasks based on user models so that learners could select appropriate learning tasks based on their needs and preferences. It also generates learning process in an interactive manner, records users' learning history and enables users to select recommended tasks. 

Currently, the target users of the system are mainly the students in The Education University of Hong Kong. To enhance students' interests, Dr Zou and her team have paid effort in the exercise content as well. For instance, the system generates sports and video games related topics for male students and fashion and beauty related topics for female students. Through personalised the content, Dr Zou hopes students would find learning fun. 

This learning system obtained the Gold Medal and Special Award in the International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada. Dr Zou hopes that in the future, the system can interact with students verbally by applying artificial intelligence technology. She also hopes to integrate more multi-media elements such as pictures, videos and animations to produce a mobile app so that students learn English more easily and conveniently.