Viv's BON Database (Version 3.26)
What's new in version3.26?
It is now no longer possible to create blank records when adding words to the database. The past test results window now shows colour-coded past scores: red = fail mark (less than 60%), blue = pass mark (60%-89%) and green = excellent pass mark (90%-100%). Reverse order testing is now possible in all sections. This means that sections with a lot of entries can now be tested in two parts. After completing half a test, you can record your score, then return and complete the test starting in reverse order. In the teacher's copy of the program ($10 - see Advanced Database Options), the same database can now be used for preparation for both the Cambridge First Certificate in English, and Cambridge Advanced English examinations. The 'See all BON' and 'See all middle of your notebook' sections do not now show the examples which come with the database, which makes testing easier for people who have just started using the database.
What is it?
An electronic notebook for learning and testing English grammar and functions. The program includes the following areas: metalanguage, articles, false friends, gerund v infinitive, idioms and slang, irregular verbs, make v do, phrasal verbs, prepositions, pronunciation, punctuation, spelling mistakes, uncountable nouns, USA v UK English, prefixes and suffixes and sections for learning and testing difficult structures in the English language. The program comes with examples structures for all sections and 19 English punctuation marks ready for learning and testing. See screenshots of the program. The program can also be used as a personal dictionary because you can search all the words or meanings in your database. See the BON Database information page for details.
Who is it for?
Language learners of any language which uses the Latin script (I don't know if it will work with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and other non-Latin scripts. The program could also be used by people studying other subjects
Language teachers can prepare grammatical practice exercises usually including context sentences in English. These exercises can be 'locked' so that they can't be edited or deleted, and then tested either in class or at home, providing the students have a copy of Microsoft Access on their computers. Teachers can also set the program to automatically record test scores (These functions are not available in the free student's copy of the program).
How does it work?
Simple! You write the words and expressions you want to learn, along with their meanings in your language and a context sentence. Whenever you want to, you can test all or groups of words, and the program will allow you to record your test scores if you want to. Remembering 60% of your words and expressions is considered a 'pass'. After testing, you can see the words you got wrong, and the correct answer. There is a comprehensive help system which includes links to worksheets on Viv's web site (see 'Requirements').
This program has been designed to be used in conjunction with Viv's notebook organisation, but however your notebook is organised, you will still be able to use Viv's BON Database to help you improve your grammatical knowledge of the English language.
You'll need to have a copy of Microsoft Access (part of the Microsoft Office suite) on your computer to be able to use this program. However, you don't need to know anything about using Access to use Viv's BON Database.
The Free version of the program is 581kb in size. There is also a help file: VBONDB.chm (30kb). If you keep this help file in the same folder as your database, you can get help by pressing the 'F1' key. Disk space isn't a problem with the BON Database. It's been tested with over 2,000 words and expressions and its size was only 604kb. If you've got Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel on your computer, but aren't sure if you've got Access, download Viv's BON Database and when you open it by double-clicking on the file, it will automatically open Microsoft Access if you have this program. If you haven't got Access, which comes with the Microsoft Access Professional software suite, you can still use your Viv's BON Database program by downloading a free 'runtime' version of the program from the Microsoft web site .
The BON Database has been designed for use on computers with Windows XP or Vista as the operating system and a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. If you are using a computer with Windows Millennium or Windows 98 (screen resolution 800 x 600), Viv can let you know how to change the screen resolution if you're not sure how to do this.
Create a folder on your computer called 'English Grammar' and download the program to this folder. After the download has finished, select 'Open folder' ('Abrir pasta' in Portuguese). Before you can use the program, you have to unblock it if your operating system if Microsoft XP or Vista. To do this, use the right mouse button to click the file once, then select 'Properties' and 'Unblock' ('Desbloquear' in Portuguese). Now click on 'Apply' and 'Ok'. Now your database program will open if you double click it. If you want to make it easier to run the program, you can create a shortcut. Instructions on how to do this are in the 'Advanced features' of Viv's BON Database Internet Help. To see these instructions, click on the blue 'Internet help page' link at the bottom of the opening screen of the program.
To receive a free copy of Viv's BON Database (students' program) click on this link.