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Cerego - Memory Management Software

Posted: February 2nd, 2013, 10:34 am
by Louis L Sorenson
Cerego is a memory enhancement and retention software that reinforces/reviews information (almost any sort, including vocabulary). The company has been around (in Japan) since about 2000, but just had a write-up in New Science magazine. They have launched a new beta app at You can watch a video at which describes the method.

I just stumbled upon the website which uses this technology to teach students biblical vocabulary in Hebrew or Greek. See ... technology.
"Cutting-Edge Technology"

A patented, science-based learning application from Cerego makes vocabulary acquisition simple and successful. This application measures what you are learning and is able to predict to what degree you have mastered an item. Cerego can also predict how long you will remember an item without review, so it is able to present you with a word at the optimal time for you to retain mastery of it. What's more, Cerego is cloud-based, so you can seamlessly manage your vocabulary learning from whatever computer or mobile device is convenient for you. The bottom line is that the system will help you to learn faster and remember longer. If you would like to learn more about this application, watch this brief video from our good friends at Cerego.
Does anyone know about this software?

Re: Cerego - Memory Management Software

Posted: February 27th, 2013, 2:11 pm
by nicholasj.ellis
Hey Louis,

I'm Managing Editor for the Greek over at, so I can provide some information. Sorry about the delayed response, I didn't see this thread. I should probably start a separate thread on what we're doing at some point, but here's some info in bullet point format.

Short version: working with a charitable organization to raise the funds, I put together a team of Greek and Hebrew scholars and teachers here at U. of Oxford and a few Stateside schools to start a language learning website. It's mandate was for it to be based on cutting edge grammar/syntax, provide a strong assessment/feedback model, be accreditable for online/long distance education purposes, and incorporate as much 'living language' pedagogy as possible while still working within a somewhat traditional model, initially anyways, for compatibility with institutional contexts. Some of the key characteristics of the flag-ship semester-length courses:
- A proprietary grammar/syntax, written for a web format, written with both articles and associated teaching videos (think C-Net review style of articles).
- Top-quality audio, with native Hebrew and Greek recordings throughout for any chunks for non-English text. We use neo-hellenic for the vocab and scripture recordings, though I'm a 'Buthian' myself and use it on my teaching videos; other professors use what they can. We warn the students about 'aural tolerance' at the beginning of the courses.
-They flagship courses are heavily reading oriented (e.g., Level 1 is Gospel of John or Jonah/Ruth); vocabulary is taught as necessary using Cerego; formal grammar is taught and assessed slowly within the context of each chunk of the reading course, within a 'graded reader' approach to non-taught grammar. Course levels are grammatically progressive, teaching through an intermediate grammar/syntax level over four semester-length courses.
-Advanced grammatical concepts are introduced by a variety of scholars, including (but not limited to) Porter, Fanning, Campbell, Dubis, and Buth on tense/aspect/voice; Wallace on textual criticism; Buth on pronunciation; etc.
-We provide compatibility with most university CMS and student grading systems, so all test grades and assessment modules can be provided for transcript/accreditation purposes. We will also be providing online/distance education for a number of accredited institutions this coming fall. Accreditation is offered through the university of record, however, as we're not self-accrediting.

Cerego/Vocabulary management
We partnered with Cerego several years ago to provide the vocabulary technology. You can read more about it on the website, but essentially Cerego is an attempt at mind-mapping one's vocabulary knowledge and the teaching/reviewing based on necessary context and degraded memory algorithms. Say someone starts learning vocabulary via a frequency list: we want to track a person's strength for each item, from basic recognition through composition(typing), and based on the memory strength of that item manage how frequently to review for optimal memory strength. This has the benefit of being able to identify one's knowledge-base for a particular tagged text; say a student is fairly strong in most NT vocabulary 10x and above, and comes to a passage in Plutarch. We want to be able to identify what items in that passage the student already knows, is weak in, or has never been exposed to, in order to predict an optimal vocabulary entry point to Plutarch.

Right now the vocabulary cue/response is L1/L2; so Greek or Hebrew with English glosses. This works as would be expected: less than optimal, but par for the rugged course that is modern classical language pedagogy. We're working on cue/image or cue/video pairs as well (think Rosetta Stone, etc.)

We'll be launching stand-alone vocabulary lists in Greek and Hebrew this next month, starting with frequency-based courses, and then progressively rolling out lists tagged by chapters for popular grammar textbooks, and then lists sorted chapter-by-chapter for books of the Bible (OT/NT) and eventually Church Fathers. The Cerego platform will manage learning progress and decayed review. The plan is to offer these vocabulary courses as a complete package based on a monthly subscription fee (something like $4.99 a month or thereabouts).

The bulk of the vocabulary is recorded using native neo-hellenic. This was due to a number of factors, but most central was the desire for clean, error-free recordings for the vocab terms and accompanying sample sentences. We're considering recording everything in Erasmian (reluctantly, if I'm honest), and the delay there is simply finding someone who's good enough to read error free and fluently.

Future Courses:
Once we have the entire basic curriculum of four levels for Greek and Hebrew available (SBL this year, Lord willing!) we'll focus on smaller mini-courses addressing questions like basic linguistics (syntax, word order, use of the article, etc.). My hope is that, given the pretty diverse body of talent available here in Oxford that we can expand to Aramaic, Siriac, etc. We're a couple years out from thinking about that, I'm afraid. My head as been down between DPhil work and building the site/content, but I would really enjoy getting some opinions from the b-greek community on what (and how) we should be teaching in the online environment.

I should say that beyond getting the core offerings finished up, my primary concerns are (1) continued improvement in assessing and tracking individual student learning tendencies; (2) the ongoing integration of modern linguistics into the process; (3) (but not last by a long shot) making a real effort at creatively integration living language method into an online, non-live context. I'll admit my infatuation with the Biblical Language Center folks and their methods, and hope to creatively integrate that into what we're doing soon.
Nicholas Ellis

Re: Cerego - Memory Management Software

Posted: February 27th, 2013, 3:13 pm
by nicholasj.ellis
Sorry, I should also have credited Steve Runge for a large portion of the discourse/word order/markedness videos.

Re: Cerego - Memory Management Software

Posted: April 9th, 2014, 12:28 pm
by eugenedevries
Anki is a similar spaced repetition program for learning languages or anything really. Gabriel Wyner over at uses it for his method of learning modern languages. (He also has a book coming out in August 2014 called Fluent Forever.) However, Anki requires you to enter everything in yourself. It has a facility for sharing card decks online. But all of the shared decks seem to be using a text to text, i.e. translation approach, rather than understanding in the target language. So I'm excited to see Biblemesh using Cerego. If they have a Greek/Hebrew to concept approach (rather than Greek/Hebrew to English) that will save me hours of labor just setting up the system.