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LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH (The Learning Company)

COST: £400 for 10 individual packs

Contents: 4 cd's, 1 audio tape, 1 dictionary, A workbook, A users Guide.
Windows '95 and '98 compatible
.

We acquired the programme in October 2000 with a view to using it with Transition Year Spanish only-the reason being the class was small and each student could have access to her own programme. Also it was a new experience for me and I needed time and practice to gain proficiency.

The programme focuses on improving the students ability to learn specific areas of interest at one's own pace.

This version of "Learn to speak Spanish" places emphasis on building skills through repeated and extensive practise of the lessons, exercises and drills. The programme is also designed to help develop conversational and pronunciation skills.

"Learn to speak Spanish" also includes cultural movies which help you relax and become more familiar with the language and culture you are studying.

The speech recognition technology evaluates your pronunciation and thus builds your confidence in communicating.

 

We encountered a number of pitfalls initially. The programme was not compatible with Windows 2000 thus making it impossible to use on the new computers in the old Geography Room. Gerry O'Dwyer installed it onto three computers in the old Technology Room. Again we had problems-earphones went missing, we could not get the microphones working, one of the three computers was not running the programme. Frustration all round!

We did not have a class period timetabled for the Computer Room so we had to rely on another teacher's good will to facilitate us.

One class period per week is really very short-each student needs to be involved, not just an onlooker.

The programme itself is excellent. I need to do much more work on it myself for the coming year as students are impatient and want instant success. The teacher needs to be fully informed of all steps involved in the programme-therefore with the best intentions in the world I hope to work on familiarising myself completely with "Learn to speak Spanish" for the coming school year.

Transition Year is an ideal year for using this programme-it is stimulating, inter-active, assesses your skills and monitors your progress. I would give it full marks. (Mary Brennan)

 

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