Learning Village Reviews > Educational Software > Second Language > Tell Me More

Educational: 5.0
Overall Design: 5.0
Ease of Use: 4.6

(4.0 = good, 4.5 = very
good, 5.0 = excellent)

The Tell Me More series has identical programs to the one we have described here for both Spanish and English. See pricing and ordering information from the CDROM Store below

Tell Me More
Spanish, click here

Tell Me More English.
Click here

Tell Me More
Language Series

Publisher:  Auralog

Learning Areas: Helps develop both written & pronunciation skills, knowledge of basic French vocabulary and phrases, the fundamentals of French grammar - conjugation, sentence structure, and construction. Telling time, and exercises in basic addition and subtraction.

Age Range: 14 & up  Grades: N/A

Minimum Reqs: PC Win 95/98 Pentium (see below for detail)
Pricing and Online Ordering
(or call toll free -1-800-250-9229 )

Program Description      Who Is This Program For
   Why We Selected This Program
  Computer Requirements

The Tell Me More language series is designed to teach and provide the developmental practice in the four major areas of learning a new language - speaking, listening, reading and writing. For each language in the series, there are three separate programs - beginner, intermediate and advanced. We will be taking a look at the beginner French program.

Once you have installed the program, you start with a guided tour of the program's content and navigation (worth seeing). Once you have taken the tour, you then choose either to select a guided learning path, or you can explore specific areas that may interest you on your own. If you take the guided learning path, you choose which area or areas you want to develop - speaking only, or speaking and writing, etc. - there are four areas in all, and then decide how much time and when you want to give each week to learning, and the program will generate an end date based on your learning interests and lay out a specific lesson and practice sequence .

The program has 14 learning areas and 21 lessons in each area. If you are exploring the program on your own, you just click on the desired lesson in the Lesson Plan Manager (see top right). If you have chosen a guided learning path, the program will take you to your first lesson. As you go, the Lesson Plan Manager will track what you have completed, and how well you did.

You will have a set of headphones with a microphone (that comes with the software) so you can both listen and speak (the program will "hear" you). You may start off with a simple conversation lesson, where you are asked a question and you have a choice of three answers on the screen. If you are focusing on your reading or writing skills, you click on the right written answer. If you are focusing on learning to speak, you say the right answer into the microphone and the response will light up (if you have said the phrase properly). Don't worry, keep talking until you get it right. The screen will also have several ways to help you if you are getting stuck. The program also has lessons that clearly illustrate how to shape your mouth, tongue, and lips, to get the right sounds in word pronunciation

Many of the lessons focus on learning to speak the language and this is where the voice recognition technology really comes into play. In one area, you chose the types of words or phrases you want to learn. A screen will appear. You will both hear and see a sentence written as well as see the speaker's voice pattern emerge on the screen as he speaks. You say the phrase back and your voice pattern will appear directly under that of the speaker's (see "Learning To Pronounce" right). You will also instantly get a score and the program will highlight any word(s) you need to work on. You also can play back your own response as well as your "tutor's" version of the word or sentence, as an aid to understanding where you need to correct your pronunciation. This all happens in a flash, so you can easily keep hearing and repeating the phrase until you've got it.

Tell Me More also has many grammar lessons and activities that help you develop your knowledge of sentence construction and conjugation. One example, is an activity where you have to re-sequence a group of words to make a sentence. If you have internet access, you can e-mail questions to an online teacher and get a response within 48 hours. (It works, we have tried it)

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Lesson Plan Manager

Basic Conversation

Learning To Pronounce

Basic Vocabulary

The Tell Me More programs are for someone who is really serious about wanting to learn a new language. The learning paths available provide extensive learning and practice content, that will take you a long way into becoming linguistically competent.

We would also suggest that the Tell Me More programs that are called "beginner", such as the one we have described here, require a basic knowledge (vocabulary and simple sentence construction) of the language, in order to easily follow and ably do the lessons. If you have a basic knowledge of the language, the "beginner" programs will take you a long way into learning the language.

With the guided learning path built into the program and the comprehensive nature of the instructional content, Tell Me More will work well for the self motivated learner who wants to learn on their own. For a teacher (or a student) who has an interest in using the program as a complementary tool to classroom instruction, it also works very well. One big advantage for a teacher who chooses to use this program with his or her students, is that the program can give your students tons of pronunciation practice and feedback, while you, the teacher, can focus more, for example, on the grammatical side of learning the language.

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It is clear that the developers have really done their homework, in terms of assembling a very comprehensive base of instruction. The program has about 1000 lessons and if you put the lessons end to end, they represent about 130 hours of instruction and practice. They also have created a good introduction to the program for a first time viewer. (Something many learning software developers miss on badly). We also liked the way that the learner could choose what they wanted to learn, and the program would generate a specific lesson plan and a timetable. A great organizational step for the learner.

The graphics and the content layout of the individual pages are easy to understand and navigate . We also liked how, in any specific lesson, there was lots of visual and auditory assistance available with one click.

If you use the program solely to develop your speaking skills, the voice recognition/feedback part of the program is the best we have seen and worth the value of the program in itself. It is really helpful when you are hearing a sentence spoken, to see a graphic representation of the intonation of the speaker and then, when you respond, to see your own voice intonation graphically displayed right underneath that of the speaker's, along with your own pronunciation score and highlights on the specific words that you mispronounced. You are getting simultaneously a performance score and instant feedback on where you need to make a change to improve your pronunciation. This is about as close to a personal tutor as you can get. This is a very impressive part of the program.

If you are choosing between Learn to Speak French - click here - (the Learning Company) and Tell Me More (Auralog) - both selected and profiled on Learning Village - we would offer these considerations. Learn to Speak is a little more tailored to the individual who is seeking to gain basic conversation skills for travel or business purposes, as an example. It is also a little more accessible to someone with a lower level of vocabulary knowledge. Tell Me More requires a slightly higher level of knowledge of the language to be able to follow the lessons comfortably. Tell Me More would be the better program for someone who is really serious about learning the full breadth of the language and is looking for a comprehensive approach to learning the language. The bottom line is that they are both good programs - Learn to Speak is the little more accessible for the beginner and Tell Me More is more sophisticated and requiring a little more, in terms of your in going knowledge of the language. Your choice

Reviewed by Dan Lang, Learning Village Reviewer

Pricing and Online Ordering
(or call toll free -1-800-250-9229 )

Windows® 95*, 98, NT4*, Millenium, 2000 or XP PC or Compatible Pentium® III 650 MHz or equivalent, 128 MB RAM, 100 MB available on hard disk, 24X CD-ROM drive or better, 16-bit Windows-compatible sound card, video card (1024 x 768 with 16 million-colors or higher), microphone + speakers or headphones (included)

or to see other language programs

Kidspeak French - ages 5-9
Mia Language Adventures - ages 6 -10
La chaise berçante - The Rocking Chair - ages 7 & up
Pronunciation Power - ages 10 & up
Learn to Speak French (or Spanish or English) - ages 12 & up

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