French Software Reviewed

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Software Title:        Junior Talking Dictionary.
Publisher :   Focus Multimedia Limited
Age Group : 7 - 12 years
Curriculum Area :   Modern Foreign Languages
Year of Publication : 1997
Mac, PC or other :    Win 95 / Soundblaster / Microphone
Summary

The CD provides the facility to translate vocabulary from ones native tongue to a chosen modem foreign language. 

Overview of Teaching with this Title

I chose to translate from English to French.  The operator selects from a wide range of topics e.g. clothes, dishes, animals, the town, school, seaside etc.  Within the topic the operator selects a word from an extensive list.  A graphic of the chosen word appears on the screen accompanied by the written word in French and English.  By clicking on the ear symbol, one can hear the word spoken.

Content

The content is accurate and reliable and very extensive withpronunciation of a high standard.  Some of the topics I feel are unsuitable for use in the MFL class within the primary school, due to their level of difficulty and irrelevance to the children's lives e.g. Ancient History, Myths and Magic, Insects.  There is no facility to alter / choose a level of difficulty
Within other topics, the range of vocabulary is so extensive I feel it could affect the children's motivation and level of interest.  Also the facility to translate verbs into the tenses - present, future, conditional, imperfect, perfect, may be more suitable to children in second level.

Design and Navigation

The content is presented in, I believe, in an unimaginative manner which will not appeal to the child.  The software is easy to use and one can exit it with difficulty.

Installation and Use

In general, I feel the use of this CD ROM in the modem foreign language class in primary schools is limited, due mainly to its lack of creativity and child stimulation.

Supporting Documentation

There is no supporting documentation to accompany this CD ROM. I used this software to provide children with an opportunity to revise and hear vocabulary taught in class.  Children worked on an individual basis using headphones in order to minimize class disruption.  They were given a particular topic to explore.  There is no facility to record the topics vocabulary explored by the child.

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