Frequently Asked Questions

Will the program work on both a PC and a Mac computer?

Unfortunately no. Currently, the program will work only on a PC.

How long will it take to learn how to use the program?

30 minutes or so – it's very user-friendly.

Do I have to be a techy computer nerd in order to be able to use it?

No, it is fairly simple. (See above)

How many words are there in the program?

There are presently over 2,600 keywords, each with a minimum of 15 sentences in context, including different derivations, for a total of over 50,000 sentences and 750,000 words in the program.

How did you select which words to include in the program?

Following the lead of the most recent research into vocabulary acquisition, the words which have been selected to be included among the keywords fall into three different categories:
1. Words which have 2-3 diamonds of frequency, as indicated in the Collins Cobuild Learners Dictionary
2. Words included in the Academic Word List (AWL).
3. Other words which Gerry has personally needed to prepare his students for field trips and guest speakers during his own teaching career.

Who is the program intended for?

Teachers of intermediate to advanced ESL students, or teachers of native speakers in need of extra help with vocabulary development.


How much does it cost?

A single-user registration is US$50.
Educational licences cost the same for the first full licence. Additional seats are priced as follows:
1 - 10 seats - US$35 per seat
11 - 25 seats - US $25 per seat
26 - 50 seats - US $20 per seat
50 - 100 seats - US $15 per seat
100 + seats - Please contact us to discuss pricing

What do I do if the program doesn't include some of the words I want to review?

Well, first of all, it may actually be there under the root word. For example, the word reliable can be found within the contexts for the word rely. You may also want to ask yourself if perhaps the word is so infrequent that it doesn't merit the time required to teach or learn it. However, if the word is not there and you feel it should be, no problem! The program allows you to add, edit or delete words and sentences.

I want to use the program a lot, but I might forget which sentences I’ve already used with my class.

No problem! Each time a sentence is used, the program marks it with a number. At the end of the term, you can then zero all the numbers and begin again with a new class.

Can I try it out, so I can decide whether I want to buy it?

Of course! Download an evaulation copy for free. The demo allows you to see all the data, and allows you to produce an exercise with a maximum of 5 sentences, using words starting with letters from the first half of the alphabet. If you decide to purchase the program, we will send you a user name and key. This will instantly enable the entire program.


What are the JMatch and JCloze buttons for?

The JMatch and JCloze buttons allow you to create interactive web-based exercises for vocabulary review online. These formats are included in the Hot Potatoes suite, which consists of six different applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher will work in conjunction with the JMatch and JCloze formats to automatically generate online vocabulary review exercises. Hot Potatoes is freeware and can be obtained by downloading it from their website.

Who is Gerry anyway?

Gerry Luton is an ESL instructor and has been teaching English as a Second Language for almost 25 years. He has taught in both Canada and Japan. Gerry is currently the senior instructor at the University of Victoria's English Language Centre, in Victoria, Canada. Together with Martin Holmes, Gerry created the program over a period of about 10 years.


Who is Martin and why isn't the program called Martin & Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher?

Martin Holmes is a former ESL teacher who is now a software designer. Martin is also the founder and director of Half-Baked Software Inc., which is responsible for creating the Hot Potatoes suite, which includes JMatch and JCloze, programs which can allow users of Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher to create interactive online gap-fill exercises for use on a website. And of course Martin also built the software program for Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher, and in fact, it was Martin himself who came up with the name. See other excellent software programs created by Martin Holmes, including the Hot Potatoes suite, Markin, TexToys, and

What dialect of English is used in the program?

The program comes complete with files in American English, British English, and Canadian English. All three dialects are downloaded with the program but users choose the default setting during the downloading process. The other files, including the Academic Word List sublist files, can be opened by clicking on the file option at the top of the program interface and selecting "Open a database".

How is the new version of the software different from the previous version?

The new version has a number of different features.

The new version, instead of marking used sentences with a star, marks the sentences with a number. This is useful if you need to know how many times you have used a sentence (for example, if you have two different classes you are reviewing the vocabulary with).

Another difference is that the new version now includes a button to put the gapfill exercise on the clipboard so that it can be pasted into a pre-existing document, and a button to create an exercise in HTML format.

Finally, the new version has arrows to the right of the sentence box which allows users to move sentences up or down in the list of available sentences for each keyword.

I have the old version. Do I need to pay for the new version?

If you purchased a previous version of Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher, you can get the updated version for a nominal fee of US $10. Just download the demo version and then send us an email with your name. Once your previous purchase has been confirmed, you will be sent the necessary information to register the new version of the software.