News and Announcements

Vocab Victor teams with IELTS with Fiona!

February 10, 2020 - Vocabulary Systems, Inc., is excited to announce our new partnership with IELTS with Fiona.

Vocabulary System’s flagship app, Vocab Victor, helps English language learners build and strengthen their vocabulary by playing word games on their smartphones or tablets.

IELTS with Fiona offers an online course for students studying for IELTS, which is one of the most widely-used English language proficiency tests in the world. It is used to meet English requirements for college entrance, work, and immigration.

Vocab Victor teams with IELTS with Fiona

“I’ve been looking for a great set of word lists to include in the app for IELTS prep,” says Vocabulary Systems CEO Heidi Brumbaugh. “Fiona Wattam has an MA in TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) and has been teaching for over 25 years. I love the course she designed to help learners do their best on IELTS. Because she offers a 28-day vocabulary booster, I thought it would be a perfect fit for our app!”

Each of the 28 word lists are available from within the app. Each list focuses on a thematic topic similar to readings learners might find on IELTS, such as housing, transportation, and the environment.

Depth and repetition

Fiona’s online course offers rich context for the vocabulary, including Reading and Listening texts, plus Speaking and Writing examples and models. Vocab Victor helps learners remember the words by playing fun and colorful word games. Words on each list are repeated in different games until they are learned. Users can track their progress for individual words and the list as a whole.

Fiona's word lists in Vocab Victor

Four different games

Vocab Victor includes four different word games which each teach a different type of word knowledge, including spelling, synonyms, collocations, and definitions.

Four Vocab Victor games

Victor builds on the students’ existing vocabulary, teaching new words as it strengthens knowledge of existing words. It’s targeted at adult learners, such as college students.

Vocabulary is a core language skill that will help learners on all four sections of IELTS – reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Vocab Victor, combined with IELTS with Fiona, will give learners the boost they need to score well on the test!

Course designer Fiona Wattam says, “It’s amazing how well Victor helps you practice these tricky words in such a fun way. What a brilliant idea!”

Download free

Vocab Victor is available free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play. Supplemental word lists may be purchased using “charms,” which may be won in-game or bought as in-app purchases.

IELTS with Fiona’s web site offers lots of great resources for students studying for IELTS. Her all-access 3-month online study programme may be purchased here and the 28-day vocabulary booster may be purchased separately here.


Vocab Systems Releases its Premier Word Learning App

SANTA BARBARA, CA, May 29, 2018 – Vocabulary Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its word learning app, Vocab Victor. The program helps English language learners improve their vocabulary by playing games on their smartphones or tablets. Victor builds on the students’ existing vocabulary, teaching new words as it strengthens knowledge of existing words. It’s targeted at adult learners, such as college students.

Vocab Victor’s games are designed to promote native-like word knowledge. By teaching different types of word knowledge (such as synonyms, collocations, and type-of relationships), Victor’s games provide multiple paths for students to learn and remember words. Victor is intended to supplement other homework activities. By integrating engaging and fun word games into the curriculum, students practice longer and progress faster, allowing teachers to make more productive use of classroom time.

Three original word learning games

Vocab Victor includes three full games, each with colorful graphics and its own musical sound track.

Word Strike is a meaning matching game. Students must pick the arrow word with the closest meaning to the word on the target. Sometimes the words are synonyms. Sometimes the words are similar types of things. Students may see the same word in different games with different matches. This will help them better remember and understand the word.

Word Find is a word search puzzle game. Students must find the words hidden in the puzzle; this helps them to focus on how the word is spelled. Additionally, each puzzle is grouped around a single “seed” word, so students learn word associations as they play.

Vocab Victor’s third game is called Word Drop. It’s a sorting game; students must choose the correct mailbox for the word on the envelope. This game teaches word meanings and also collocations–words which are found together in the same sentence.

About Vocab Victor

Vocab Victor was developed by a small team of linguists and software engineers, implementing cutting-edge data processing techniques and drawing on a wealth of research into vocabulary acquisition. Victor’s servers manage over 15,000 words and over 130 million word relationships. These systems automatically generate game content. This allows infinite variety–every game is different for every student, every time it’s played.

The program tracks the words students see, and how well they know them. This allows words to be repeated until they’re learned, and new words to be offered at students’ current vocabulary level. Moreover, students can track their progress, viewing their current word list and studying learner-friendly definitions for the words they are learning.

“A good vocabulary is foundational to language learning,” says Vocabulary Systems CEO and founder Heidi Brumbaugh. “In the past, language instruction had a strong emphasis on grammar. However, for the new speaker, it is far easier to get across your idea if you have strong vocabulary and poor grammar, than if you have perfect grammar but a poor vocabulary! Vocab Victor helps students move beyond the beginning-level vocabulary they learned in their first year of language study so that they can make greater language gains at the intermediate level and beyond.”

Available Now for iOS and Android

Vocab Victor is available now for iOS and Android. For a limited time, Vocab Victor is available to play for free, with no ads and no subscription fees!

About Vocabulary Systems, Inc.

Vocab Systems is a language learning startup headquartered in picturesque Santa Barbara, California. It seeks to disrupt the language learning software industry by meeting language learners where they digitally live—on their mobile devices—boosting word knowledge whenever and wherever they have a few moments to spare.

About founder Heidi Brumbaugh

Vocab Systems’ CEO and founder Heidi Brumbaugh has a PhD in Linguistics from Simon Fraser University, where she concentrated on vocabulary acquisition and computer assisted language learning, and a Masters in Linguistics from San José State University, where she focused on computational linguistics. She received a BA in Russian from Grinnell College, where she learned to program in BASIC on a PDP 11. A computer programmer, polyglot, and avid gamer, “Dr. Heidi” strives to improve the experience of second language learners and dreams of banishing flashcards to the shoebox of history.