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An application for scheduling vocabulary using the Pimsleur approach

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Using PimSched, you can study vocabulary the easy way: while doing something else(e.g. playing a simple game like tetris, or while walking or biking). PimSched has espeak/mbrola read out words from a wordlist(vocabulary/translation seperated by '='), and then schedules the words according to the Pimsleur approach(5 seconds, 25 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes). The output is a .mp3 file with everything you need to study.

You can find a sample PimSched lesson here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/pimsched/files/sample.mp3/download

PimSched Web Site


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  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Reliable and runs smoothly

    Posted 01/22/2013
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Nice simple scheduler for a graduated interval recall session. I started working on Gradint 10 years ago and have been waiting a long time to see how other developers would do it differently. PimSched holds rigidly to the first 4 intervals (5 repetitions) of Pimsleur's 1967 memory schedule. It does this by padding every word/response pair into exactly 5 seconds, and managing these 5-second blocks in a simple integer-driven map. Each word is fit into the map at the earliest possible place where there are 5 free slots in the correct pattern. Gradint on the other hand does not stick exactly to Pimsleur's schedule. It does not regularize the block lengths, so it has to use a much more complex object-oriented backtracking floating-point scheduling algorithm with TeX-like "stretchable glue" thrown in for good measure (have fun trying to understand all that). Gradint's approach is more flexible, for example it can work harder to fit words into a tighter time limit, and it can cope with arbitrary block lengths, which is useful if some of your words are recordings and/or you like to have different numbers of confirmatory repetitions at each block, etc etc. But Gradint's scheduling is not as simple and easy to understand as PimSched's. Another important difference is that PimSched does not try to split your vocabulary collection across many sessions. It generates only one session, making it as long as necessary to get through the whole list. It is therefore advisable to keep the list short. Gradint is perhaps more suitable if you want semi-automatic management of a large collection of words, whereas PimSched could be better if you want absolute control over what goes into each session. If you don't need Gradint's extra features and complex setup options, and the eSpeak + MBrola voices are good for the language you're learning, and you're happy with the Linux command line, then PimSched is a little program you should certainly look at. Note that it requires a version of sox that is capable of encoding MP3 files (not all sox installations can do this, it depends how your distro has set up the sox package), but it is trivial to change the output type to something else by editing the end of the code. Ubuntu users should make sure the libsox-fmt-all package is installed so that sox can handle WAV files. You should also make sure that your versions of sox and espeak are quite recent, because PimSched does not include the workarounds for problems in older versions that I had to put into Gradint. PimSched uses a word list format that is very similar to Gradint's, so you should have no trouble sharing words between the two programs. I would suggest we be a bit careful with how we use the word "Pimsleur", because it's a trademark. Paul Pimsleur's 1967 memory schedule is now public domain, but there are aspects of the modern Pimsleur courses which might not be public domain, and anyway it's important to clarify that graduated-interval schedulers do NOT replace Pimsleur, they just do the graduated scheduling part. It's nice to see this program around, and I hope it will lead to a greater understanding of the scheduling method. Silas S. Brown 2012-05-19

    Posted 05/19/2012
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