Just hear me out, okay. I know, it sounds like a lot of work, and app development isn’t entirely my wheelhouse; but we’re all in this together.
I really like to make my own cloze collections. I believe that if they are done right, making your own cloze collections can be even more useful than going through Fluency Fast Track or any of the collections. Why? Those sections are great for hammering through all the common words, however, when dealing with native sources, you will undoubtedly encounter many more unknown words. Accumulating new vocabulary doesn’t stop, even far past the C2 level. You have to accept the fact that you will continue to encounter new words in your second / third language even ten years into your learning. Hell, sometimes I encounter a weird English word I’ve never seen before.
Anyways, I really like making my own cloze collections, however, they aren’t really useful until you’ve amassed a relatively large collection. Running through 5 sentences is going to be such a small drop in the pond. Most of these custom sentences, I will end up forgetting by 50%. When I’m on my laptop, with an external screen, I can make these custom clozes pretty quickly. However, it is a deliberate effort. I wouldn’t call the process of making your own clozes 100% fluid; however, I have to give respect where it is due - the custom cloze creation process is best I have ever seen. More user friendly than Anki. Better than any flash card app or website. It looks and feels very web 2.0 to me. I just want to make the point that the process is already very good. However, I think it could still be improved with a browser extension.
Sometimes, I find something I’d love to load into Clozemaster, but it’s not the right moment, and I end up losing it. My fault for being lazy, not yours, but that moment of mental laziness inspired this idea. How can we further improve the custom cloze creation to make it even easier, less cumbersome, and more integrated?
Let’s say there was a Clozemaster Web Extension. This is how it would work.
- The web extension signs you in to your account right in your browser. You’d configure this however you like. Automatic sign in? Manual sign in? The user chooses.
- You encounter a sentence in your target language.
- You highlight the sentence with your mouse.
- Right-clicking the sentence will reveal the clozemaster icon.
- Clicking the Clozemaster icon reveals a small pop-up window.
- There will be two text fields that pop up, a drop down menu, and an ADD button which will be greyed out until all of the fields have been completed.
- The first text field will display the sentence you have selected.
- The second text field will display the sentence in your native language, which should be automatically translated.
***NOTE: I am not 100% sure on this - but I believe you can use Google Translate (or perhaps another translation service) to build your app. Automatically translating the sentence would save a LOT of time. Translating automatically, especially for languages that are close to English (eg French, Italian, German, Dutch) is more than fairly accurate. This being said, if, for whatever reason the automatic translation is NOT accurate, the 2nd text field can be manually overwritten with a custom sentence. The user would simply delete the sentence in the second field and type/paste their own sentence in. The user could also completely disable automatic translation if they prefer.
- You would manually select the cloze word - by clicking or highlighting it. No more curly brackets.
- Using the drop down menu, you would select one of your custom cloze collections, which would be available to the browser extension through your sign in credentials. This would be incredibly useful if you like to have ‘themes’ for your custom cloze collections - for example, I have a collection that is strictly infinitive verbs.
- Hit the “ADD” button to add the finished cloze to that collection.
Using this, you could seamlessly integrate the process of browsing in your target language, with creating custom clozes. It would add a new level of convenience and fluidity to the process. It would perform all of the ‘heavy lifting’ - but also be completely out of the way.
Please - let me know if there are any doubts that arise while reading this. This concept simply may not be possible or feasible. But I really wanted to get it off my chest because I have been thinking about this for a while.