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spacer all reviews > > > spanish software

QuickStudy Spanish

The Learning Company

Ages 11 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.5
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
4.5

QuickStudy Spanish Screen Shot System Requirements

PC Price Survey

Product Support

As the title aptly suggests, QuickStudy Spanish offers a quick solution to learning the Spanish language. It does so by immersing the user in the language -- through vocabulary exposure and drills, real-life videos featuring Spanish dialogues with optional English translations, and interactive conversations in which the user must respond appropriately to on-screen characters. With dedicated use of this product, users can expect to develop a basic grasp of the language. They should not, however, expect to become U.N. interpreters.

The main screen for QuickStudy Spanish looks like the lobby of a language studio. From here, students can choose to enter the language lab, the conversation lab or the game room. A grammar guidebook and dictionary provide handy reference, as does a pocket-sized printed phrasebook for last minute consultation. Speech recognition technology allows users to record their own pronunciations and receive instant feedback about their oral language progress.

Educational Value
QuickStudy Spanish was developed with the traveler in mind. Vocabulary is grouped in the following important categories: People, Daily Life, Getting Around, Eating Out, Shopping, Unexpected Events, Traveling, and Going Abroad. Key words and phrases are taught for each category. In addition to providing the basics for communication, traveling advice is included throughout. For example, along the lesson on shopping for clothes, the user is reminded that sizes vary in different countries.

The conversation lab allows the user to test verbal mastery of the language. Here, s/he is placed in typical situations and asked to dialogue with on-screen counterparts. This section features speech recognition technology, which allows the computer to check for appropriate verbal responses and direct the conversation accordingly. The user can choose from a wide variety of situations including checking into a hotel, ordering meals, and visiting a museum.

Finally, the game room lets students drill language skills through fun, interactive games. A video-matching game features short videos, a jukebox plays popular Spanish tunes (La Bamba, La Cucaracha), and the board game "Conquest" pits the user against another player (or the computer) in a mix of vocabulary skills and chance.

Kid Appeal
This "quick-fix" program does its best to make a potentially tedious endeavor more interesting. It combines animation, video and on-screen guides with straightforward instruction, to keep the user attentively engaged. The virtual conversation section was well-liked by our testers, although they cautioned that it can be temperamental. For best results a quiet room and careful enunciation are required.

Ease of Use / Install
QuickStudy Spanish installed with ease. It requires QuickTime 2.1.2 which can be installed from the CD-ROM.

Program navigation is simple. A tutor greets the user from the outset of the program, and provides guidance through much of the program. A detailed ‘help’ file including valuable guidance and troubleshooting tips is also readily available .

Best for... / Bottom-Line
QuickStudy Spanish targets the traveler who has little time and wants to learn usable, conversational Spanish. To this end the program is quite successful, providing instruction and drills in an interesting, well-organized manner. It is definitely not the best choice for the struggling Spanish student who needs extra tutoring, nor is it appropriate for a beginning student hoping to build a complete understanding of the language.

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, 486 DX/66 MHz or faster cpu, 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended), 256-color SVGA display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit Sound Blaster compatible sound card, MCI sound, microphone, speakers.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium233 with 64MB and 12XCD
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