Italian Software Reviewed

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Software Title:        Junior Talking Dictionary
Publisher :   Focus Essential
Age Group : 7 - 12 yrs
Curriculum Area : French, German, Italian

A multimedia dictionary to help children improve their vocabulary and verb tenses. Vocabulary of over 1000 words. The program allows users to hear the word and to record their own voices.

Overview of Teaching with this Title

It provides support for teaching Italian but not suitable for special needs children. The program lends itself to use by individuals, pairs and small groups of no more than four children. It's main strength is in allowing independent research of items of vocabulary and in its audion facility. In our classroom, children worked in groups of three, taking turns to research words and record their own voices.


The content is accurate, reliable and up-to-date. It's not biased either by culture, gender or race. The vocabulary is appropriate for the target age group but we found the verbs too difficult. It does not have multiple levels of difficulty and the user does not have control over the rate of delivery. Each item of vocabulary is accompanied by a cartoon picture which thus reinforces learning by picture-word-sound association. The authoring facility allow the user to add his/her own words and recordings.

Design and Navigation

The on-screen help is useful and appropriate. It has a simple child-friendly interface which requires no document reading. It is not possible to bookmark or print. In the aural feedback the children hear the word and record themselves.

Installation and Use

It requires manual installation but launches very quickly after installion. Responses are fast and satisfying. There is no network version available.

Supporting Documentation

Documentation comes in separate elements with clear instructions. We found the information sufficent. There were no added resources.

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