Using the Assist Mode (lightbulb) & Assist Settings (gear icon)

Learners are not all at the same level: you may need more or less help than someone else when you listen to the stories.

Fortunately, we've got you covered. You can quickly customize the level and types of assistance you get while listening to Jiveworld episodes. When you do physical exercise, you should choose a level of resistance that is challenging but not impossible. The same principle applies to using Jiveworld’s assistance settings.

Types of Assistance

Jiveworld started with a question: How many ways can we help you listen to natively spoken audio without showing you the whole transcript or translation? You want to avoid "pretend listening" i.e. reading (while the audio is playing). Here are the strategies we came up with:

  • Hints — semantic signposts that help you navigate each chapter
  • Selective Redaction — hiding certain types of word groups to challenge your ears
  • Vocabulary — selected by our language experts
  • SIC — irregular or incorrect usage that creeps into real speech
  • Tricky Bits — phrases that you might not catch, spoken very quickly or with an accent
  • Speaker Bios — a memory jog of who the characters are and their role in the story
  • Speed Control — slow things down to give you more processing time
  • Full Transcription & Translation — for when you really need it

Listening Context

Context is everything — especially in "comprehensible input," the theoretical foundation for the Jiveworld Method.


Stories zig, stories zag. As a learner, you may miss a turn and find yourself lost, fumbling to fit the words you do understand into the wrong context.

The Hint Bar at the top of the screen offers you some high-level context for the passage you're in. If you've chosen to keep hints hidden by default, you'll see a Show hint button.

There's also a button to the right to jump back to the top of the current passage, making it easy to listen over and over and challenge yourself to figure out what's happening without "peeking at the answer."

Hints also automatically display before each passage.  You can disable this feature by unchecking “Auto-show passage hints” at the bottom of the screen.

Speaker Bios

Some of our stories have a dozen or more characters, and it can be hard to keep track of who's who. You might also want help placing an accent. Just tap on the speaker name in the script to pop up a bio.

Full Translation

At times you may need to check your comprehension. Either tap on the "translation" icon at the bottom right, or swipe left on the screen top (below the blue Title Bar and the Hint Bar) to access the translation panel.

The translation for the segment being spoken is highlighted to help you easily find your place and follow along.

Selective Redaction

The idea of redacting (hiding behind “pills”) some but not all of the words in a transcript is a powerful idea that is unique to the Jiveworld Method.

Any pill, or group of pills, with underlining can be tapped on to reveal the words underneath. When Assist Mode is on (i.e. the lightbulb icon is yellow), some or all of these words may be shown automatically. You can control this behavior using the Assist Settings (see below).

If you tap on an underlined word, you will see more information about it — a definition, note, or correction. The underline colors indicate the different types of word groups:

  • Vocabulary (green)
  • SIC — non-standard or incorrect usage (red)
  • Tricky Bit  (gray)


Viewing vocabulary (by tapping on a green-underlined segment) will automatically add it to your vocabulary list. You can remove it by tapping the minus button shown here.

You can review your vocabulary list for a story by tapping on the Vocab "V" button above the chapter carousel.

From within the list you can remove entries by tapping the minus button.


The term "sic" is used in copy-editing — meaning "thus" in Latin — to indicate that an error of spelling or usage is faithfully reported as-is from a quoted source.

In general, spoken language is not as precise as written language. We underline in red any odd words or phrases that are non-standard or incorrect.

Tricky Bits (& Notes)

Anything underlined in gray is either a Tricky Bit or something with a cultural note attached. Tricky Bits are words or phrases that can be difficult to catch by ear, due to the way they’re spoken or because they refer to unfamiliar terms or names of places or persons.

Assist Mode

Assist Mode can be switched on and off by tapping the lightbulb icon. With it on, you can:

  • control the playback speed
  • specify which kinds of word groups will be shown or hidden by default (i.e. Selective Redaction behavior)
  • reveal the whole transcript that you're listening to

In the Jiveworld Method, you are encouraged to listen to each chapter once (at least) with Assist Mode on, so you don’t get overwhelmed by the new material and voices. But before proceeding to the following chapter, you should listen with it off, to bake in the pure listening experience without any “crutches” or other distractions.

Speed Control

With Assist Mode on you can slow down the playback from full speed (1.0x) to half speed (0.5x), or anything in between.

Remember there's a world of difference between slow language (the contrived classroom language you hear in most study courses) and real-world spoken language slowed down.

Full Transcript

When you do want to follow along with the full transcript, tap the "abc" button on the right of the Assist Bar.

Listening Assistance Settings (auto-reveal of hints, vocab, tricky bits)

By default the player is set to reveal the full transcript during playback when Assist Mode is on. You can change this to suit your needs. Just tap on the gear icon to open the Listening Assistance Settings.

While Listening Assistance Settings is open, the player is paused and full transcript mode disabled (if it was on). This way you can see how the screen changes as you move the slider around.

Regardless of the Listening Assistance Settings, you can always tap on any underlined and redacted segment during playback to reveal the underlying text for that word group.