Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Auralog- Tell Me More French Foreign Language Software








In thirteen years of homeschooling, we have tried our fair share of foreign language programs. While there were a couple of exceptions, I was often left disappointed. Many programs are just plain dull, while others teach you nothing beyond numbers and colors and "My name is...". I found that the ones I like best (especially for the older grades) use the immersion technique. Auralog's Tell Me More foreign language software is one of these.

We're already studying Spanish, so I jumped at the chance to add French (my high school language class) into the mix and we received Tell Me More French for review. Everything you need to begin is included in the box, even the headset with microphone. I popped the Introductory Disc in and was fully immersed in French within a few minutes. This can be a bit disconcerting at first, but once you relax and realize it's okay to guess and identify clues and even click the glossary button to determine meaning, it becomes enjoyable. This is the way we learn our native language naturally as children, we hear someone speak and we begin to identify certain words with certain objects. We understand, we speak, we write. Immersion.

After playing around with the Introductory Disc for awhile, I loaded the complete software and registered my copy. There are five levels available to you through this package. You can choose to access levels 1-5, as I did, or you can take a test to determine your level. If you have a student already familiar with the language, they would take this test and then receive the level at which they are currently working, plus four more. I did not take the test, so I can't comment on that, but the set-up for the first five levels was simple and painless.

Once you've registered and chosen your levels, you can set up accounts for your students. You can create multiple accounts with passwords, so this is a great option for your entire family. I created one for myself and then it took me to a screen where I could choose between three lesson modes. The first option is Free to Roam, where you are able to select activities at will. Then you have Guided Mode, which is a personalized lesson plan based on objectives and time constraints that you input. Your third choice is Dynamic Mode, where the computer determines your lesson plans based upon your progress. This was all fast and simple.

The lessons themselves rotate between reading, writing, and speaking. For example, you may have picture clues that help you determine the right sentence among two or three choices, you may hear a word spoken and then type it with correct spelling. or you may listen to a sentence and speak the correct response into the microphone. A glossary is always available in the top left corner to help you translate.

I love how easy this program was to set up and begin using. I love that it keeps track for you and that you can choose if you want to follow a lesson plan or just pick and choose your activities. I love that it immerses you in the language and takes advantage of our natural learning inclinations. I'm happy to say that I am impressed with this product!

This particular version is being released in mid April and will retail for $319.99. Keep an eye on the web site for launch date. I'll try to add an update here but if you catch it first, please let me know in the comment section!

1 comment:

Noel said...

I would love for my children to learn several languages. I am so glad you did this review. I would hate to waste money on a program that is not worth while!

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