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Dinosoft French
from Dinosoft Educational Software

For Ages 4 to 11

See the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

Reviewed on:
Dinosoft French Screen Shot Pentium166 with 16MB and 12XCD

Dinosoft French provides friendly vocabulary lessons based on the objects found in four still pictures, titled: In the Country, At Home, About Me, and In the City. As the cursor is passed over objects in each picture, the objectís English word appears on the screen, with its French translation below. The user can click on any word to hear its spoken pronunciation. Configuration options allow the word to be spoken in English or in French, so that the program can double as an English vocabulary tutorial for the native French speaker. Simple quizzes are available to allow the student to test his or her mastery of the vocabulary presented in each section. Further games and drills include basic matching of English words to their French equivalents, flashcards matching words to their pictures, and a "Word List" that works much like a dictionary, searching the database for submitted words. A record/playback feature allows the user to listen to his or her own pronunciation accomplishments.

Educational Value
Dinosoft French is a simple vocabulary building tool, not a complete language instruction program. If your student needs help in building a basic French vocabulary, Dinosoft French provides a useful tool. But if you're looking for help with verb conjugations and phrase construction, you won't find it here.

Kid Appeal
Although this simple vocabulary-building program does an excellent job of presenting and drilling basic French words, it contains little to captivate the young learner. Despite claims of animated dinosaurs to lead the child through the program, there is really very little animation of any kind. According to one of our parent reviewers, the animation that does exist " totally unattractive, and best left out entirely." (Ed. note: this can be done through a configuration option). A digital coloring book is included with no French language significance whatsoever, in fact when the help file is opened it refers to the book as a "Spanish" Coloring Book!

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Because of the lack of any truly Ďfuní activities, vocabulary lessons are valuable only when the child has patience and an intrinsic desire to learn the language. Similarly, drills work best for the motivated child who enjoys repeating a task until perfection is achieved. This programís allure consists of its interactive nature, which makes it superior to a paper workbook, audiocassette or video, especially for a young, concrete learner.

Education 4_0/5.0 Kid Appeal 3_0/5.0 Ease of Use 4_5/5.0
5=Excellent, 4=Good, 3=OK, 2=Weak

See the SuperKids Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

Children's Software System Requirements


Operating System Windows 3.1 or Win95 Not Available
CPU Type and Speed 386DX/33 (486 recommended)
Hard Drive Space 3 MB
Memory (RAM) 4 MB (8 MB recommended)
Graphics SVGA 640x480x256 color
CD-ROM Speed 2X
Audio Windows-compatible sound card
Other Needs mouse

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