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The CD ROM package I decide to review is a language program offered by Berlitz.

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Introduction

Carlota Medina Assignment 3: Review of a CD-ROM/software package The CD ROM package I decide to review is a language program offered by Berlitz. It is called Berlitz Live! Spanish Sierra. Berlitz is a sub-company of Sierra On -line. Your own Spanish tutor, named Rosalinda, teaches the program. She uses accurate lip movements, so along with hearing the pronunciation you can hear it as well. The program offers many real life situations, such as arriving in Mexico City, how to catch a taxi, asking where the bathroom is etc. There is also an on-line dictionary and skill-building games. The program is excellent. Quality pictures make comprehension easier. Learners demonstrate comprehension individually by playing games (e.g. click on the picture of the word heard, fill in gapped text). Learners as well record themselves onto the machine, playback and compare against original and should rectify. After reviewing other packages I was fully impressed with the outstanding quality of Spanish Sierra. It is clear, well explained, well organised, the units are set in manageable chunks. It has very good and descriptive images as well as intuitive procedures and very user-friendly control interface. ...read more.

Middle

I think that this is one of the characteristics a good teacher should have always in mind: combine the actual teaching but intercalating some anecdotes so that the student does not get bored. The user can also record his voice and compare it to the voice of the native speaker in the dialogues. The CD also includes practice tests where they have to fill in the missing parts of the conversations in Spanish. The voice can be recorded not only in the section of dialogues but throughout the whole package. The user has to repeat the new phrases or vocabulary that the on screen personal tutor says. An excellent way of learning vocabulary for visual learners is portrayed in the activities where there is for example a room in a hotel and the user has to press any item in the room and then the item makes a funny movement or appropriate noise and then the tutor says the word out loud while the written word is seen on the screen. The first section teaches you the very basics to start with the language. The alphabet is taught with the different pronunciations from Spain and Latin America. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even thought I like the idea, I have to admit that it can be positive but negative at the same time. On the one hand the student is taught that there are different pronunciations for the same letter and he/she can choose the pronunciation they find more suitable for them; on the other hand, teaching the different accents and pronunciations at the early stages of learning a language might be confusing for the learner. On the whole it is a really exciting CD ROM. It is colourful and user friendly. It is, above all, a fun and entertaining way of learning Spanish. I was myself motivated and keen to participate in the activities and games. It has got songs and information of most of the Spanish speaking countries. It is though very fond of Latin America. Indeed, the learning instructor is a Mexican native Indian woman. This though humorous also enhances some stereotypes of the Latin American woman, which are not so much alive among most of the modern society and population in Mexico. Finally I have to say that I cannot express with words how much I like and admire this program! We could claim that it is nearly perfect and it will make any one who takes a look at it want to learn our rich and beautiful Spanish language. 1 ...read more.

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