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SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
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spacer all reviews > > > Spanish software

Learn to Speak Spanish

The Learning Company

Ages 10 and up

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

Learn to Speak Spanish Screen Shot System Requirements

PC Price Survey

Product Support

Learn to Speak Spanish is an expansive language program that uses a wealth of instructional techniques to teach Spanish to the earnest user. It includes lessons in vocabulary, grammar, and conversation (both verbal and written), and provides plenty of practice, drill and review in each of these areas.

Unlike most language software programs, Learn to Speak Spanish attempts to teach the language from the ground up. It not only immerses the user in the language, but it provides extensive grammar lessons as well. The program is divided into 10 units and 30 chapters. Each chapter contains a vocabulary list, story, dialogue, grammar topic, conversation lab, and exercises. Also included are fun games to break the monotony while strengthening and reinforcing learning. Speech recognition technology allows users to test their knowledge and perfect their accents with immediate feedback from the computer.

Included with the Learn to Speak Spanish CD-ROM are an audio tape and a 150 page workbook for practicing away from the computer.

Educational Value
Learn to Speak Spanish includes everything one might find in a first year Spanish textbook and more. Because of its interactive aspect, lessons are easy to use, and feedback is readily available. Students cruise through the program, beginning with the basics and progressing at their own pace. Extensive vocabulary is provided through lesson-based lists, and a searchable dictionary. Interactive conversations put users in real-life situations (money exchange, dining out, checking into hotels, etc.) where they can practice speaking to native Spanish speakers and receive a computer rating of their participation.

A Progress Screen lets students view their progress, from chapters completed, to exercises undertaken and the amount of total program accomplished.

Kid Appeal
Our testers rated Learn to Speak Spanish extremely high on organization and completeness. They commended the presentation and content of dialogues and liked having the ability to easily record their own replication of both the dialogues and the program vocabulary. Although Learn to Speak Spanish targets the older-child / adult audience, with a little supervision, our younger testers were able to benefit from the program as well. The included games, were the only aspect of the program that was less well-liked, receiving mediocre scores and remarks. "The games are okay. . ." was a typical comment.

Ease of Use / Install
If only all programs were as well-organized and easy-to-use as Learn to Speak Spanish, tech support would become a thing of the past. Learn to Speak installs without difficulty. It requires QuickTime 3.0, but will intelligently install the application only if it (or a later version of QuickTime) does not already exist on the computer. A microphone is required to properly use the program, and a microphone test can (and should) be performed at the time of installation.

A tour takes the user step by step through the programís many features in a well-organized manner and is highly recommended for all users. Speech recognition technology works amazingly well -- we tested it with a number of different voices, from female to male and adult to child and found that it succeeded at discerning the difference between good and bad pronunciation samples.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This excellent Spanish language program is recommended for those who want to learn the language thoroughly. It includes grammar fundamentals, vocabulary and conversational instruction together in an organized, easy-to-follow package.

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, 75 MHz or faster cpu, 1 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256 color SVGA, 4x or faster CD-ROM, Windows compatible sound card, microphone.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium166 with 48MB and 12XCD
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