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spacer all reviews > > > spanish software

Language Adventure

Instinct Corporation

Ages 6 to 12

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.5
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
4.0

Language Adventure Screen Shot System Requirements

PC Price Survey

Product Support

Language Adventure takes a new approach to interactive language instruction. Rather than simply teach and drill vocabulary, Language Adventure presents an animated story that unfolds in the new language -- involving the student in a creative new world.

In addition to teaching French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish to the English speaking child, this program can be used as an ESL (English as a Second Language) or speech therapy tool. Words, phrases and sentences are presented in both an instructional language and a target language. Kids must then record themselves as they repeat what they have heard and compare their pronunciations with those of the program. When satisfied, students can move on to the next portion of the program. Lessons are sequenced so that they build on one another.

As they progress, kids are rewarded for their efforts in various ways. Music and animations give students an amusing break from the learning process. Kids also get a chance to complete story sections by creating simple animated scenes of their own. This is done with a variety of easy to use tools, including cut and paste, and drawing options.

Educational Value
Language Adventure stresses speaking skills as an integral component of language learning. Words and phrases spoken by program characters appear on-screen as they are delivered, but lesson focus is on listening and repeating. Kids cannot progress until they have attempted to reproduce targeted words and phrases. Verbal attempts are automatically replayed, making feedback a crucial element in the learning process. Users can replay completed lessons (with their own input included), when they want to review or to demonstrate their progress to parents and/or teachers. Three settings allow preschool, beginner and advanced students to benefit from the program. A progress report is also available.

Kid Appeal
The story aspect of Language Adventure was a definite draw for our kid testers. Graphics and animation are unsophisticated, but adequate. Students enjoyed recording their own attempts at Spanish language reproduction, and painstakingly strove for perfection.

Whereas younger kids were satisfied with the pace of Language Adventure, those kids on the older end of the age-range felt that its repetitious nature made the program slow and monotonous. Our teacher testers agreed that older students might find the program a bit tedious, but commented that it would nonetheless be a nice addition to conversation lab activities.

Ease of Use / Install
Language Adventure installed without difficulty on our Windows95 test machines. Unfortunately, program navigation is not intuitive, and the CD-case insert isnít extensive enough to fully explain it. A help file on the CD is recommended reading, especially for specific questions about program use. A microphone is required, as the program stresses verbal practice and feedback.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
With emphasis on spoken language, Language Adventure attempts to reach young students in a novel manner. However, its lack of graphic sophistication and tedious nature may make it inappropriate for many kids who need attention grabbing stimulation.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Spanish software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98 or NT, 90 MHz or faster cpu, 3 MB hard drive space to install, and 60 MB for each student, 16 MB RAM (32 recommended), 256 color, 640x480 display, Quad-speed or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit sound card, microphone.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium166 with 48MB and 12XCD
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