Designing the User Interface to a Lexical Database for CALL: What Principles?

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (1988). Designing the User Interface to a Lexical Database for CALL: What Principles? Sprache und Datenverarbeitung - International Journal for Language Data Processing, 12(1) pp. 41–51.

Abstract

The paper concerns user interface design for the retrieval of multilingual lexical (vocabulary) information from a computerised database, in the context of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). A certain tension may be perceived to exist between the liberating and constraining aspects of a lexical database, and this tension is explored in the paper. The paper goes on to discuss an example of a menu-based user interface and how it can be used by a language learner who is writing an essay or doing a translation on the subject of 'famine relief'. It is argued that a computerised system must be at least as good as a basic manual system (such as a paper dictionary), and learners must enjoy using it, since only then can more adventurous uses be planned. The paper hints at adaptive user interfaces being available in the future.

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