French Software Reviewed

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Software Title:        The Cat Came Back
Publisher :   Focus Multimedia
Age Group : 4 - 7
Curriculum Area : Language Development
Year of Publication : ‘97/’98
Mac, PC or other :    Win 3.1 /95
Summary

This CD ROM can be run in English .,French or Spanish.  While I believeit to be a very worthwhile resource if used in English with young children, ages 4 - 7 years, I have reservations about using the French version.

Overview of Teaching with this Title

The children follow the adventures of a cool cat who travels by balloon, spaceship, train and stagecoach.   The children are encouraged to develop their reading, spelling, comprehension and vocabulary skills, as they turn pictures into animations, words into songs, questions into answers. The CD also teaches children basic musical notation and introduces them to musical instruments.  As they proceed through the programme they can collect clues and solve six mysteries within the story.
However, I question the level of difficulty in the French language used in the CD where the subject matter would really only appeal to young children.  Children using this programme would need a good grasp of the French language, without this the children would loose motivation and enthusiasm to complete the programme.

Content

While the content is accurate and reliable with pronunciation of a high standard, the language and style are in my opinion, inappropriate for the target age group.  There is no facility to alter the level of difficulty within the programme.

Design and Navigation

The software is well designed, being both visually and aurally stimulating and appealing.   On screen help is useful and distinct and the user can move between sections easily.

Installation and Use

Installation is straight forward and quick.  Unfortunately also there is no supporting documentation. While an excellent CD for the Junior classes if used in English, this CD is of minimal use to the student of modern foreign languages in the primary school.

Supporting Documentation

None

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