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Language Learning Software

I'm looking for experiences and recommendations for English language learning software. This would be for (mostly) self-directed learning on the computers in our center. Our organization owns Tell Me More and Rosetta Stone, and I can choose to have one or the other in my center (or propose another application entirely). I have looked at both of them, and they seem very different, both with their own pros and cons.

My requirements (more or less):

  • Runs on Windows 7 (this is a dealbreaker)
  • Saves student progress through lessons
  • Same application can be used by multiple students
  • Option for audio to be "broadcast" (rather than headphones only) so that a student can share the program with a tutor
  • Uses speech recognition, preferably with waveform comparison 
  • Geared towards second language (rather than foreign language) learners
  • Can be used at a wide range of levels

I would love to hear what experiences others have had using this kind of software, if any. I have some students who are very interested in doing some independent computer study, and I'd like to make some decisions soon. I do know about USALearns and some other free online resources. In this case I have a little money to spend if it means getting a reliable, quality product.

Comments

Dorjan Chaney's picture
Ten

Hello Sarah,

I know that you were looking for advice not questions.  I am interested in rosetta stone for my own purposes and have not heard much about this "tell me more" program.  Could you expand upon the pro's and con's of each, when comparing the two programs?

Sarah Braun Hamilton's picture
First

Sure, it will help me to organize my own thoughts, as well. This is based on my spending about an hour with each program, guided by a volunteer who has used both with her student. It's by no means a professional or informed review.

Rosetta Stone

Pro

High quality, easy to understand pictures

Systematic introduction of grammatical forms

No use of grammatical terminology (this would be a con for some students, including me)

Con

No variety of activities - picture matching only

Goes fast - lots of repetition, but this could be very intimidating for a new student

Most advanced level is not very advanced

Seems geared for foreign language learners

Headphones required for audio (unless there's a setting to change this)

Tell Me More

Pro

Audio can be used with or without headphones

Wide variety of activities

Pace is slow

10 levels, with four units each - level 10 is quite advanced, level 1 is quite low

Extensive grammatical resources

Has waveform comparison for pronunciation practice

Con

Complicated navigation (instructions are in EN)

Grammatical resources are in EN

User complains that system freezes and would not let her in to assessments

Can't return to completed activities

randomness