ESL Software Reviews

 

 

 

 

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Selectsoft Language Systems www.eurotalk.co.uk has a CD-ROM for Win/Mac called ďAmerican English." It features an audio introduction and text help section in Italian. The program is set up as a game, with points earned for correct answers. There is no didactic instruction; it is designed as support or review for book or lecture lessons. Topics covered include: colors, numbers, telling time, food, simple phrases, etc. There is a choice between easy and difficult levels. As an older program the graphics and animation are simple and somewhat outdated, so you may be able to find the CD used on ebay at bargain prices. The companyís web site also describes other CDs and DVDs with full screen movies on many subjects. www.selectsoftusa.com

 

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Galswin Middle School Language Arts www.integralmedia.com has a 2-CD course for WIN/Mac designed for native English speakers but is also suitable for advanced ESL learners. Sophisticated graphics and animation combined with role-playing games and the ability to create content and exercises make this an absorbing format for young students. A recent visit to the companyís web site redirected to another web site (the creatorís?), but used CDs are available on the web from several sources.

 

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Read, Write, Type! www.readwritetype.com is actually a phonics and typing program but is great for ESL students as well, who learn how to use all ten fingers to type while playing games and learning simple words and phrases. The cartoon characters speak fast and use colloquial expressions with a Brooklyn accent but the subtle humor is highly entertaining as well as educational. Note that older versions of this program donít work on WIN XP. One of the best!

 

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Kiddy English www.mediaport.it is a bilingual set of 4 CDs combining audio/visual didactic instruction, adventure stories and many challenging games for pure entertainment. By far the best software Iíve ever used for Italian students, the companyís web site offers other programs that I plan to try and report on in the future.

 
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Disney's Magic English http://www.Pearson.ch/ is a series of DVDs with high-quality animation and music specifically for younger ESL learners (make sure you are ordering the Italian edition). A bit expensive and there are only about 10 hours of material available so far, but well worth using.

 
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Milan's daily newspaper Corriere della Sera has offered the "English Today" series (23 booklets, DVDs & CD-ROMs) distributed by www.E-ducation.it and many Italians have bought it. The DVDs contain interesting video segments with native English speakers as well as grammar instruction with a "live" teacher. There are a few minor errors, such as transcription of audio to text, but otherwise it's an excellent product and a great motivator. Recommended.

 

"There is nothing on the web or on any bookshelf as valuable

as the book Teach English in Italy." - Carrie L.

 

 

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