Help Please: New Software Menu, What do you think?

menuupgrade2

Update: Just added in vol. 13 themes too!

One big request has been for a version of the software menu in curriculum order, Β not the old CD order, and split up into “levels.”

You’d think it would be easy to make, but with over 100 lessons it’s actually really hard!

I’ve been trialing this design for a while now, Β what do you think?

https://genkienglish.net/clipart/MENU.SWF

1. Themes now in curriculum order. Β (What do you think of the level labels, do you get it?)

2. An “abc” order where you can see the written titles of all the songs.

3. A “CD” button where you can still get the old CD Menu look.

I don’t think we’re quite there yet so any feedback, good or bad, or any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

Do let me know in the comments!

Be genki,

Richard

P.S. Β The links don’t work online, but if you are very brave you could download a copy of the menu and try it in a copy of your download pack! Here are the files you need.

P.P.S. Β The winner of last month’s comment competition was …… Β Mark! Β  Β If you’d like to win a Genki English CD download of your choice (orΒ Genki RelaxΒ orΒ Genki GermanorΒ Genki Japan) then get commenting on any of the posts on the blog, Β I’ll pick one out at random each month and the winner could be you!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

69 Responses to “Help Please: New Software Menu, What do you think?”

  1. Adam

    Very interesting. I think the ABC order button would be very useful to me when I want to find a particular song in the middle of a lesson.
    Having level labels will probably change the order I teach in. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Elena Torrents

    Hi Richard,

    I think your idea is great! Very easy and quick to find what you need.

    Good work again!!

    Thanks.

    Elena

  3. Dale Harrison

    Hi there Richard. I see that you have been hard at work again as usual. I showed it to my students and parents last night and they think is a great idea. It would make any homework project alot easier to do and even my 1st grade kids think it is cool.
    Thanks. when will it be available?
    Regards Dale

  4. Richard

    Thanks everyone, much appreciated, it really helps to know I’m on the right track. πŸ™‚

    I’ll work on it again today, and fingers crossed I’ll be able to fit everything in and of course more feedback is always welcome!

  5. Dan Bolinger

    I love it. I had thought that CD1 meant that was level one. But this really puts it into perspective. I want this kind of interface.

  6. Jim

    Hello Richard,
    Great job with the new design for the menus. I do have one suggestion though. I think the clouds passing by are a little distracting making it a little difficult to read some of the text.

  7. Richard

    Thanks Jim, I think I’ll change the background to be the new one from vol. 13 !

  8. Brian

    Great work Richard as always!
    I love genki english but a minor draw back was finding lessons with the cd vol interface.
    This new version solves that problem and is exactly what I was looking for as it makes it much easier to find lessons.

  9. Roger

    I like it too. Whatever you I think you will find people that might not like it but, I think its good

  10. Drew Smith

    Richard, The menu looks good.

    Things I like;
    1. All the CD’S accessible from one menu.
    2. The ABC order is particularly helpful in quick reference situations.
    3. The 123 ranking allows a quick review option.
    4. The old CD menu means that I can still find the songs as noted in my own curriculum notes.

    Things I don’t like:
    1. The fact the 123 ranking takes two pages – but I think the size of the pictures need to remain as already shown – so probably this issue cannot be resolved for such a huge number of songs.
    2. I am not sure if the ABC Ranking is as I would choose – but that is the authors privilege!!!

    WELL DONE. and thank you

    Andrew (Fukuoka)

  11. Elvira

    It’s just what we have been waiting for! Thank you Richard for the wondwerfull present! Yet I don’t know if it doesn’t work with anybody else but my bonus phonics opens blank.

  12. Richard

    @Drew, yeah balancing the number of pages vs. number of themes on each page is the hardest part!

    Are you coming to the Fukuoka gig, April 6th?

  13. Ken Marchant

    Much easier to navigate on the Kindle Fire with the 123 menu.The original menu was very small.Thanks a lot!

  14. Richard

    Very interesting Ken, I actually thought it would be harder on the smaller screens! Very good to know!

  15. Ken Marchant

    The problem with the original menu on the Kindle Fire was finding which CD the theme you want to use is on. Once you find stand and open it then it’s easy. Having the new 123 menu means you don’t have to spend time opening and closing the CDs.

  16. Betty

    I like it, I like it!!! Very COOL.
    In the past IΒ΄ve printed my curriculum and its on my pinboard- no need for that anymore!

    IΒ΄m not brave enough to download it yet- IΒ΄ll wait until you give us the “go for it” !!

    Thanks for all of your effort!
    Betty

  17. Emmanuelle

    Thanks, cause it was hard to find a song quickly sometimes πŸ™‚

    When can we use this new menu?

  18. Richard

    @Emmanuelle & Betty: You can use it right now if you like! Just do a backup of your pack first, and double check the links you want to use in the lessons beforehand! πŸ™‚

  19. Lola

    Hello Richard,
    Congratulations for your work, still funny and very committed to children and teachers.
    The abc section helps me to organize my planning because I can find quickly the grammar structures I am going to use.
    The 123 section helps me to find quickly each song.
    All is presented in a colorful and funny way.
    Thanks.

  20. Amy

    Wow!! I like the different options you give for finding the songs. Wonderful! Since youΒ΄re working on the software right now I have another suggestion related to the actual songs on the software. Can you create a pause button for the songs?? I often do a dance freeze game to review quickly songs and itΒ΄s hard to listen to a whole song because every time you stop it you have to start from the beginning. I donΒ΄t know if others find this a problem but if itΒ΄s not too difficult I would really appreciate a pause and restart button. thanks! and amazing work once again Richard!

  21. Nena

    Great job Richard!
    It’s so much easier! I used to waste a lot of time and get quite frustrated too! Thanks!

  22. Juliana

    Richard!
    It’s awesome!!!! I am looking forward to using it with my students!!!!
    xxx

  23. Richard

    Thanks everyone! You know this has been sat on my hard drive for 18 months as I wasn’t sure if you’d like it – I guess I should get more of the experimental stuff you to you guys! πŸ™‚

    @Amy: Yeah, I would find a pause button useful especially on the Brothers & Sisters game. I used to have it on there, but … I found so many teachers would play one line of the song, go into a crazy grammatical explanation for ages, play another line, do the same thing and just kill it all, so I took them off!!!

  24. Margit

    It gives many options, and I bet it will help HRTs a lot.

    I’m just updating my kid’s USBs so it came in (too late for a few of them) but pretty timely. GREAT!

    For me the version as it is now is best as I know it in and out, and some of my students as well, but I’m getting old too and so I think I’ll get back to the abc at some point.
    This might also be something useful after the phonics and all the reading is done to show the kids what a b c sequence is.
    Thanks.

    I also like how the level names came out.

    Anyway! I do agree with Amy. I’d also really be happy about a pause button for many reasons.

  25. Martin

    Love it! This is great. I remember always forgetting where a song I wanted to teach or review was. Really nice to have it in some sort of order as opposed to how they were released. You are on the right track!!!

  26. Martin

    Not sure about the order of the curriculum, though. Seems like much of CD 13 is just tacked on the last “Miracle” level.

  27. Kamila

    Wow! The thing which was giving me sleepless nights was the division into levels!:)I was just going to ask you for advice….

    To me, the pause button is a must.

  28. Richard

    @Martin: Yeah, you got me on that one! As vol. 13 is so new I haven’t done all the consultations yet as to the best places to put the themes, so just added most of them at the end for now. Hopefully I’ll have vol. 13 integrated more later when I talk to everyone at the workshops about how they are using it!

    I’ll also be doing more work on the alternative “Phonics First” curriculum, where, if the parents are demanding it, you can start phonics almost from the very first lesson. In that case more of the vol. 13 themes will be earlier e.g. the Phonics “i” Where is it? song will be 3rd in the curriculum right after the Disco Warm Up and Superhero! Keep on eye on the VIP forum if you are interested in that!

  29. David Whittall

    Richard,

    I created a Folder [MENU_RESTORE] and copied the current files ‘1 START HERE’ and ‘MENU.SWF’ then unzipped your NEW MENU into its FOLDER [MENU_UPGRADE].
    I then copied the 2 x Files from that, into C:\GENKI ENGLISH.

    1 START HERE.EXE was overwritten, as did MENU.SWF (which is OK as there are copies of the originals in that [MENU_RESTORE] I created!).

    I don’t think I will be using the ‘Backup’ in [MENU_RESTORE] however, for the following reasons:-

    1) On the current CD structure only Menu, it is difficult remembering ‘What Song’ is on ‘What CD’, unless one opens that CD’s MENU (especially VOL4 & VOL5, as all the songs are not depicted on those CD Covers!).
    Then some CD’s don’t have a ‘MENU’ to get back to selecting a Genki Song, on another Volume. This means having to hit ‘QUIT’ and then restart the GENKI Menu! I now can find Songs from ‘Category’ or ‘Alphabetically’, so I don’t have to go to the CD Menu, to find and then Launch what I am looking for or may be suitable.

    2) The GENKI ENGLISH suggested ‘Curriculum’, is not in CD Order, so why present the Lessons in ‘CD Order’? Having 3 Options, allows one to select the presentation of the GENKI SONGS by ‘Category’, ‘Alphabetically’ and the original ‘CD Order’, so what is there NOT to like (other than perhaps selecting a Song from Vol. 13 and not having that Volume – yet?).

    3) Unless one is using CD’s, does it really matter ‘WHAT CD’ it was on?
    On the PC (or Android Tablet) all the Song Files are all together in one big FOLDER – GENKI ENGLISH. It is the CD ORDER as MENU1 …… MENU12, that is the way to launch them (unless one remembers the somewhat cryptic File Title of a particular Genki Song!).

    4) I had been actually creating my own ‘GENKI Song Menu’ using HTML Code, so you have saved me the bother Richard.

    5) My only suggestion for improvement, is to come up with an Android App – The ‘GENKI – JUKEBOX!’ – where you can scroll through all Titles in ‘Alphabetical’ order, or select ‘Category’ Mode for a particular ‘Genre’ (or CD Order Mode – for backward compatibility in Curriculum References etc).

    There are a surprising number of FREE Android Apps for helping Students prepare for IELTS (if you don’t mind the ‘Adverts’ on some of them).

    I was thinking of making a suggestion, that you get a FREE ‘Genki English’ Android App produced, that offers the publicly available ‘Demo Song’ tracks’.

    This reminded me to suggest such.

    Well done Richard.

    I am researching what is the best value for money Android Tablet for Young Learners to use with Genki English.

    In the Philippines, the Cherry Mobile ‘Fusion Bolt'(OEM version of Ainol Novo 7 Lite), @ Php3,999 is GBP54. I added a Silicone Rubber ‘Bumper’ cover to protect it from knocks and accidental drops ( bit like the OLPC – OneLaptopPerChild XO3 Tablet cover).

  30. Martin

    Yeah, the new school I’m at is using a book made up by a nearby school which focuses on Phonics while introducing English (so phonics first)…not so sure about that…good to have at least basic English first.

  31. Julia

    Hi Richard!

    Sorry for being late with my comment. We’re having very buzy days here in Russia: Women’s Day is like a New Year holyday with all the preparations for the celebration (presents, dinner, etc.)

    I’d love to say: it’s great that you keep moving and making everyone move with you! Don’t stop the motion!

    And now to your questions:

    1. Curriculum order is just what I was always thinking about! It’s easier to find a topic now in both cases (when the pure GenkiEnglish is used or a mixture with any other course). And by the way: why are colours so far from the start? Every coursebook gives them from the very beginning.

    The idea of the level lables is perfect. It can help students see the goal and feel proud of their current point of language learning. But I was a bit confused with the “DANGER” one. What sort of danger is in “Head and Shoulders” song? And how can we explain it to our students? Or maybe we should ask them what they think why the block is calles like this?

    2. The ABC order can be handy sometimes. What do you think of putting the CD number next to each song?

    3. I will definitely use the CD button because there are some songs missing in the new menu.

    Thank you SO MUCH for your hard work, Richard.
    I wish you all the best!

  32. Richard

    @David: Glad you like it, yes the CD order was just the order I happened to make them in – not the order to teach them. And thanks for the latest tablet recommendation, I’ll check it out!

    @Martin: Totally agree, good English first and then phonics!

    @Julia: Happy Women’s Day!

    1.) There were so many topics that needed to be near the beginning, it is very hard to choose! In the end I went with what the kids usually ask most, so colours ended up far back. But you can of course change it as you like!

    Danger level isn’t really dangerous, I just chose cool sounded names that happened to follow the alphabetical order. Of course we lose the coolness when the kids don’t speak English yet! πŸ™‚ No need to explain to the kids the meanings though and they may change! (I would have liked to call them level 1, level 2 etc. but everyone was getting that confused with the old CD orders!)

    2. I want to phase out the CD numbering if I can!

    3. Ooo, please tell me which ones I’ve missed, I thought I had included them all!!

  33. Mari

    Hi Richard It is great idea thank you for your hard work everyday! I often get lost during lesson to find proper place to push so it will helps me a lot.
    I often think it is great if we can put the Genki English underneath instead of close it when we need to open another program from PC. We need to close the GENKI English each time and need to open it again, but if we can put it underneath it is really useful!!! Word or excel we have this “_” right? I hope you understand me….

  34. Julia

    Hi Richard!
    And thank you for your season greetings and kind reply!

    3. As I could see there are 87 icons in the new menu. It means 89 songs, doesn’t it? I can’t find the main holiday songs (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year).

  35. Richard

    @Julia: There’s one more page of songs with all the holiday ones! πŸ™‚

    @Mari: Press the Windows key on the keyboard and you’ll see the toolbar! πŸ™‚

  36. Julia

    Oh, Richard!
    I’m sorry! It’s my fault! I thought there was the end, where was the bonus. And I didn’t see the arrow.

    Now I can see all of the ‘missing’ songs πŸ™‚
    I wish you better students!

  37. Mari

    OH !!! I didn’t know about it! Wow it is really useful I should have asked much more earlier Thank you Richard! Did every one knows about it…? Is it only me who didn’t know about it? o hoops!
    By the way how can we get the new version if you finish your great job? I cant wait to use it!
    I have down load pack…One surprising thing the date change for the “When When When” automatically. For the first time, I thought it is just a coincidence but the day and year change each time … HOW come!? It is really great tech nick!

  38. Richard

    Glad you found them Julia! πŸ™‚

    @Mari: No worries, I only put it up yesterday! Just use the links above to use it – but be sure to back up your download!

  39. Charise

    I like it. It helps and came just in time for my new little kid classes. I won’t have to print out the curriculum anymore!

    Thank you!

    – Charise

  40. Kathryn

    I like the way you have them listed out. That way when they are in the big TV in front of my class, I can easily see them. Plus, it saves the time from having to open a volume, just to find that I opened the wrong one! I also like the alpha-order option.

    If you do keep it the current way, it would be extremely helpful if you could include a ‘menu’ button on each volume. As you have it now, some have the menu button while others force you to click on a lesson to get to the menu button. A real time waster when you are in front of a class and accidentally click on the wrong CD!

    Thanks so much!

    Kathryn πŸ™‚

  41. Richard

    @Kathryn: Quite a few people have asked for these “menu” buttons on each volume, so here they are, unzip the file and pop them in your download pack. But, everyone, please do a backup first just in case – even some of the top people on here have accidentally made mistakes and messed things up…. Not looking at you Margit at all .. πŸ™‚

    http://genkienglish.net/clipart/NEWCDMENUS.zip

  42. Alice

    Brilliant idea and it’s in a sorted order. Love it!!

  43. Evaggelia Charalambous

    Richard I love it. I think it will be so useful for us to navigate through. Go for it!!

  44. David Whittall

    Richard,

    For those with Apple Mac (IOS) and Android Tablets, rather than PC’s running Windows, you had created “2 START (For Macs).HTML” file.

    Any chance you have, or planning to, create an updated version of that also?

    If not then I will create one for my own use (and will offer it for members if it works OK, and you agree Richard?).

    Cheers,

    David in Zhuzhou, Hunan PRC.

  45. Richard

    Hi David, no need to update the “2 Start Here for macs” file (it just loads up the MENU.SWF file!)

  46. Zephrine

    Great idea Richard! I just tried it and it looks really good. I think navigating the software is going to be so much easier. I’ll be using it this morning with my 2 year olds. Thanks for the hard work Richard. You make my job so much easier and so much fun πŸ˜€

  47. Zephrine

    There are a few glitches. So far I’ve notices that on Mac OS
    1. I am a Robot in the 123 menu opens up to “What’s your name”

    2. I’m sorry song takes you back to CD 13 but then has no menu button to go back to the main page. When you click the menu button it keeps taking you back inside CD 13. I have to close the software then reopen it to get back to the main layout.

    3. I haven’t found The Gingerbread Man yet in the 123 menu. Of course the kids wanted it this morning πŸ™‚ They kept shouting Mister Crocodile! Mister Crocodile! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I like the 123 menu and the fact that we have options. It’s good to that if I need a particular song I can just check for it in the ABC menu. Preeety cool πŸ™‚

  48. Matthew

    It’s amazing! It would be awesome as one of your vector PDFs to print a rollup to put in my lobby so the parents can see all that Genki has to offer. The update worked without a hitch for my sofware pack. Thanks a million, I love the new menu and it’s just the right timing as I try to get the homework club off the ground.

  49. Richard

    Thank you so much for the feedback Zephrine, this is just what I need to hear!

    1.) Ah, bad choice of picture on my part there! That is actually the “What’s your name?” song, I am a robot is later (but using the same picture!) I’ll change the What’s your name? song picture in the next update!

    2.) That sounds like a problem with you vol. 13 update, I’ll email you the files to fix it!

    3.) I put the Gingerbread Man in the Christmas menu – hope that’s OK!

    Do keep this type of feedback coming, there’s a lot in the new menu so I’m sure there are other things I’ve missed too!! πŸ™‚

  50. Drew Smith

    Richard, Has anybody given any feedback about the link from the ABC menu for “When, When, When? ” It does not seem to work for me. Am I alone in this?

  51. Richard

    It looks like it’s working OK here.

  52. Matthew

    Richard. Those files will do just fine. Thank you so much.

    My girlfriend is also really happy to have a curriculum menu like that to show the parents.

    I will continue to follow the menu updates and let you know if I have any issues.

  53. Brian

    Hi Richard
    Im having the same problem as Drew. When I click on the abc link to “when when when” it just brings up a blank page.

  54. Richard

    Aha, got it! It’s the “abc” menu yeah? I was looking in the wrong one! Should be fixed now, plus a few other additions!

    As always, back up, then right click to save to the pack:

    http://genkienglish.net/clipart/MENU.SWF

  55. Drew Smith

    Thanks Richard. The menu update is now working!!!! I like the drop downs!!!! Cheers. See you Sunday

  56. Brian

    Thanks Richard! On the ball as usual!

  57. Helga

    Hei Richard,

    again an amazing idea!!. No more scrolling through all the CDs and putting them into perspective.
    Thanks and have a choc(o)full Easter.

  58. Richard

    And here’s a “sticker sheet” where the kids can colour in (or add a sticker) when you’ve done a theme:

    http://genkienglish.net/clipart/curriculumstickerchart.pdf

    What do you think?

    (I’m quite liking it because if you do the themes in a different order, the kids want to come back and fill in the gaps later!)

  59. Drew

    Richard, I have a question about the menu! I am probably blind BUT I can’t find Where,where, where? on the menu both 123 and abc menu – only the CD menu. Can you tell me where I am not looking? I am also wondering if the menu could have sub songs put in it too! Eg: Can you kick?, What do you do in the winter?, Went, Played, etc!!! Drew (Fukuoka)

  60. Richard

    Hi Drew,

    No, you’re not blind! πŸ™‚ I’ve got a few problems with the rights to the lyrics of Where, Where, Where so I’m gradually planning to fade it out! You can still find it on the CD menu of course. Sorry about that!

    RE sub songs: Do you mean have separate icons for them? At the moment, “Can you kick?” is the same software as “Come on, Come on”. The Winter song in the Giant Level (silly place I know, I might change it if requested!) and is the right side of the “I like sports” song, the went/played song is the left hand side. Does that make sense? I was looking at getting as few icons on screen as possible as fitting them all in was the challenge, but I’m always up for finding new and better ways to do it!

  61. Drew

    Thanks for the reply re Where, Where, Where? – Shame – it is actually one of my favourites! Regarding the second request – Yes – I know what you mean by too many icons – but the issue with not having an icon-(at least how I see it) is that the sub songs may too easily get over looked. But that might just be me. I tend not to use the sub songs at the same time as their main song – especially when the grammar structures are quite varied! It was just a thought. Thank you for clearing up Where, where, where!

  62. Martin

    @Adam – a sub song is a song presenting a variation of the theme and the question. There are slight variation “sub” songs like “How’s the weather?” vs. the original “What’s the Weather like?” Then there are EXTRA song “sub” songs where the grammar and/or the question is completely different from the original theme song, often necessitating a completely different tune and song (you will have to teach these on your own as there are no mini-lessons for them). Examples: Under the “Days” theme there are five different days songs. Under the “Subjects” theme the main song is “What’s your favorite subject?” but then there is also a “I have __subject__ on _day of the week___.” In the summer sports theme, there is the basic “What’s your favorite sport?” but then also songs to practice past tense using “Went” and “Played”.

    It would be nice to have all the songs available on the menu, but as it is, the menu seems to link to the theme…not to specific songs. In this case, you just need to know what materials are contained within. I often use the “1st, 2nd, 3rd” song contained under the “When’s your birthday? (Months)” theme to drill ordinal numbers.

    Why are you having issues with the lyrics to the “Where, where, where?” song? Perhaps a new version in the future. I have found that the Position songs don’t always get the job done in terms of answers…”Where is Mr. Monkey?” then just teaches more questions “Is it near…?” Good work anyways!

  63. Luciana

    Hi Richard! Love it! Does it work only if you have the 13 cds? because I didn’t buy the 13th one yet and it’s not working in my pc, I have a mac.
    Also, I can’t find the thank you song…where is it? I need it to end my open lesson with parents next week…Thanks & Italy misses you!!

  64. Richard

    Hi Luciana,

    It should work OK without the vol. 13, you’ll be able to select any of the other themes, and it should only go blank if you click on a vol. 13 lesson.

    RE Thank You song – Oooopps! I didn’t put that in did I!! I’ve got workshops today, so for the time being just hit the CD icon in the top right, then vol. 1 and then select Thank you song as usual! Sorry about that!

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