Learn to Speak Spanish
If you’re serious and willing to take the time, you will habla Espan?l with Learn to Speak Spanish (HyperGlot Software Co.). This double CD-ROM program is designed for beginner and intermediate students. It is packaged with an accompanying text and workbook – nice if you’re on the road and want to practice. The interface is clear and obvious, with all toolbar buttons labeled and options and icons available on each screen. There are 30 chapters, each with sections such as: Vocabulary Screen, Vocabulary Drill, The Story, The Action (essentially the same as The Story, but acted out), Listening Skills, Exercise Screens, and more. There are also seven games – not every chapter uses all seven – that draw on the content of each lesson. There is the option to record your own pronunciation and play it back for comparison; this strikes us as essential for an effective language program. The content is tied to the story of Thomas Smith, a Chicago businessman on a visit to Mexico City. While there’s not much excitement here, following Smith from the airport, to the currency exchange, to the hotel, etc., the storyline provides the student with plausible situations and appropriate vocabulary and grammar which are actually useful. After every three chapters there is a short cultural movie; these are more like tourist board promotional films and don’t add anything to the program except flash. But they don’t detract either. This title has all the ingredients of a traditional language course, presented in an entertaining and innovative way.Included with Learn to Speak Spanish is Spanish Pronunciation Tutor. This is a terrific tool for a beginner – a step-by-step program to teach correct pronunciation through vocal drills – but it’s equally valuable for anyone trying to brush up on rusty Spanish. It’s also sold as a stand-alone CD-ROM with a few additional features. These are two programs that will deliver if you put them in (and leave them in) your drive.
– April 1995, Language Tutors