French Software Reviewed

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Software Title:      Flash Cards 5 -12
Publisher :   Focus
Age Group : 5 - 12
Curriculum Area : Language Development
Year of Publication : 1997
Mac, PC or other :    PC
Summary

This program is based around flashcards.  The pupils are required to look at a picture and then to fill in missing letters to complete the word associated with the picture.
I would question the educational value of this program, it’s very limited in it’s uses.  The program is purely visual, no audio usage is built in.  This means that the pupils do not get to listen to the spoken word at all.  It is merely presented on a visual basis.

Overview of Teaching with this Title

This would work best with individuals or perhaps pairs of children working together. Special needs pupils would find this program a bit difficult to work with, as there is no “help” offered on the interface.
There are three degrees of difficulty, but the only difference between the levels is the number of letters missing in the given word.
I would question the value of this program in the classroom setting.  There is no sound, no aural or oral work involved. The pupils are merely set the task of filling in missing letters.  This is a tedious program and quickly loses the attention of the pupils. 

As already mentioned, this is based purely on pictures and letters missing from words. 

Content

The content is not selectable, ie the teacher or pupil may not choose a particular topic (for example Colour / Clothing etc.)  The learning would be very hit and miss, and it is doubtful what exactly the pupils would gain from using the package.
One possible classroom use would be to print out pictures and corresponding words as classroom teaching aids. When you click on the binoculars icon on the screen, you can type a word in the typing area.  The picture representing that word will be displayed above. This can then be printed out.

Design and Navigation

The software contains a separate “Help” file which is of some use.  However for a pupil using the program for the first time, on-screen help is practically non-existent.
Navigation is simple, using forward arrows and back  arrows.  The icons are large and clearly visible.  There is a teacher management file, which allows the teacher to choose the language to be used.

Installation and Use

The product does not self-load, which is a pity.

Supporting Documentation

There was no supporting documentation at all.  Clearly this product is more suited to home use.

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