Using SuperMemo 8 with Advanced English 97

Advanced English 97 is a knowledge system for SuperMemo 8, released in October 1997. It has been designed to become the fastest way to excellence in English ever developed as software.

Here are some most useful tips in reference to learning with SuperMemo 8 with Advanced English 97:

1. To learn the entire material in the order of maximum usefulness and increasing difficulty, choose the button Learn at the bottom of the element window (or just press Ctrl+L)

2. If you find in the system an element worth remembering choose the button Commit to introduce the element into the learning process (or press Ctrl+M). Note that Ctrl+M during repetitions is equivalent to rememorizing the element and starting repetitions from short intervals again. You should use this option in case you reedit an item and thus increase the probability it would be not remembered on the next repetition.

3. To review all elements in a given branch, select the branch (e.g. go to it in the Contents windows and choose View) and choose Review in the element window. Review will first review all pending elements in the current branch (i.e. elements not yet memorized) and then will let you circulate indefinitely over memorized elements.

4. If you want to move an element to the end of the queue of elements awaiting memorization, choose the button Reset (during repetitions, when this button is not visible, you can choose Ctrl+R to accomplish the same)

5. If you want to completely remove an element from the learning process or to ignore it when memorizing new items, choose the button Dismiss. This will make the element invisible in the learning process, but still available in browsing, search, etc. (during repetitions, when this button is not visible, you can choose Ctrl+I to accomplish the same). To completely remove the element, choose Ctrl+Del. This will permanently erase it from the system (on condition you previously entered Full Access mode as opposed to Learn-Only mode; see later)

6. When you have an element with many options in the answer, for example:
Question: a period in which one does not go to work (esp. in summer)
Answer: holiday/vacation
You should grade yourself Bright in case you provide only one correct answer. Otherwise, you will waste lots of time on trying to enumerate all correct answers in multianswer questions! This is not what your brain needs for effectively mastering the language. Once you provide one of the options, your grade must be Bright!

7. In all answers, comments provided in parentheses are optional. I.e. you do not have to remember the comment to score Bright. Answer texts in parentheses are entirely optional!

8. To search for a substring among English texts in Advanced English, press Ctrl+S, type in the substring and choose OK. For example, to find all irregular verbs in alphabetical order, search for “(T)

9. To copy Advanced English for another person that would like to use it on the same computer, choose Ctrl+Shift+C and copy the system to a new destination. Remember to make a copy before you start learning. Otherwise you will need to copy the original Advanced English from CD-ROM #1 or reset the entire knowledge system (see later).

10. If you want to be able to edit Advanced English (e.g. change the wording of questions, change translations, etc.) you should turn on Full Access mode. For that purpose do as follows: (1) press Ctrl+P, (2) choose Data access tab in the Options dialog box, (3) click Full access in Access mode radio group, and (4) click OK. All subsequent points assume that you have turned on Full Access mode

11. If you want to add comments to items or change their wording, Alt+click the question or answer component and you will be able to edit it. Note that once you change the text, its translation will become unavailable.

12. If you want to change texts and their translations, Shift-click the text and edit both the text and the translation in the translation window. It is very important that you do not use translations during repetitions! Translations are only supposed to help you understand items. Your learning process should optimally be entirely monolingual!

13. If you want to use all powers of SuperMemo 8, you can turn on its authoring shell by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F12. Note, however, that shell’s interface is entirely English, i.e. it is not translated to your national language you chose at installation! All subsequent points assume you have turned on Full SuperMemo

14. To see the calendar of repetitions, press Ctrl+B or choose Tools : Workload

15. To search for a substring in translation texts choose Search : <Language> translation, press Ctrl+S, type in the string, and press OK.

16. If you want to edit phonetic transcriptions, choose Search : Pronunciation by word. Add new entries with Add and edit existing ones by clicking on the right panel and changing its contents. To select IPA characters, click on the dZe button on the toolbar.

17. To automatically turn on the statistics at learning. choose Tools : Options : Learning and check Classic layout at learning

18. To turn on and off the status bar, check or uncheck Window : Status bar. The same refers to the toolbar: Windows : Toolbar

19. To perform a random test on a node in the Contents window, select the hierarchy node and choose Random test on the Contents pop-up menu (available, for example, with right-click). Use Ctrl+R to memorize entries that seem interesting.

20. To hear again the sound associated with an item, click the green play button on the recorder panel or just press Ctrl+F10.

21. To open the lexicon with a given word highlighted, double click the word in the element window.

22. To reset the entire Advanced English choose File : Reset : Knowledge system. Upon resetting the system respond with No to Sort pending queue by hierarchy? and with Yes to Sort pending queue by ordinals? This procedure may be useful to start learning with Advanced English all over again or to produce a copy of Advanced English for a relative working on the same computer.

23. To save hard disk space, you can delete the entire Introduction branch in the Contents (this consumes lots of space with its multimedia files that are not stored on the CD-ROM with sounds to conserve space for the latter). Before you do that, make sure that CD-ROM #1 is in the drive (otherwise SuperMemo will bother you with messages: “Cannot delete file ...”, etc). To save even more space, you can delete the entire ELEMENTS subdirectory in \SYSTEMS\ADVENG\ directory. This will deprive your system of graphic illustrations; however, all functionality of Advanced English will remained untouched. Finally, you can save lots of space by deleting the TRANSLAT directory in ADVENG directory (not the one in SM8 which stores interface translations).

24. If you are using the recorder, it makes sense to run File : Garbage from time to time. This will delete your own recordings stored in the TEMP subdirectory. Those can run into megabytes after weeks of using Advanced English.

25. The simplest way to backup your system is to use File : Export : Learning process (you can later restore the learning process on a newly installed Advanced English with File : Import : Learning process).