I choose to give this product 4 1/2 out of 5 Gold Teacher’s Stars!!
If you are looking for a foreign language program that immerses you in the language, then you would be hard pressed to find a better product than the one put out by the great folks at Auralog. Tell Me More is an immersion based language program that is fun and makes learning a foreign language doable. It is also reasonably priced for a program such as this, making it a real winner in my book!
Now, why would you want to use an immersion based program to learn a foreign language? Let me tell you from my own personal experience! I speak Spanish, and actually lived in Spain while serving a church mission for 18 months. I went through a training program in which I was taught basic Spanish skills. However, when I arrived in Spain, I quickly discovered that the lessons I were taught did not resemble the language that was actually spoken. I had learned South American Spanish and it was very different from what I was to experience. I learned the bulk of my Spanish by being immersed in the culture. I had to learn it quickly so that I could purchase basic food supplies and other things I needed. I also needed to be able to share the gospel with the people in Spain, which was my entire point in being there in the first place. Needless to say, I learned my Spanish rapidly out of necessity.
While not everyone will need to learn a foreign language as rapidly as I needed to, I still think that the immersion process is the superior method to learn a new language. When I found out we were going to be reviewing this product, I was excited. I had great visions of speaking Spanish with my son. It would be fun and a great way to brush up on my Spanish.
However, while I really thought that he would be happy to learn Spanish, I quickly discovered that he wasn’t as keen to learn Spanish as I was for him to learn it. He wanted to learn Italian. When I asked him why he wanted to learn Italian, this is the response I got, that could only be achieved through the logic of an 11 year old boy: “Well, I like Italian food, so I’m pretty sure I will like the language.”
Well, I couldn’t really argue with that, so we ordered Italian. Then we proceeded to wait for our course to arrive. He was so excited about it, that he literally asked me if it was here yet on a daily basis for weeks. The version that we tested out is so new and there was a delay in the initial shipping from the manufacturer. Not fun when you have a child so anxious to learn! When it finally arrived, I’m not sure who did the biggest happy dance…me or the boy-child.
I set the program up on his computer and instructed him to take the initial test that assesses your level of knowledge of the language so that you can start where you need to. I already knew that he would need to start at the beginning, but I wanted him to have that experience. He eagerly put on his headphones with microphone that was included in his box and clicked the start button. The look on his face in just moments was priceless. After a couple of minutes he was brave enough to ask, “Are you sure they didn’t send us Russian? I can’t understand any of this!” I laughed and assured him it was indeed, Italian.
After his initial testing, we chose to activate the first 5 levels of the program. There are 10 learning levels available to choose from, and you are allowed 5 of the levels with your purchase. This enables you to start learning from wherever your level currently is in the language and then progress up 5 different levels from there.
Once you have activated your product, you are able to choose from 3 different learning modes:
- Free to Roam-enables you to select activities at will
- Guided Mode-a personalized lesson plan based on objectives and time constraints that you input
- Dynamic Mode-the computer determines your lesson plans based upon your progress
The actual lessons rotate between reading, writing and speaking the language. There are also lots of fun activities that enrich the learning process. My son says that one of his favorite activities are the crossword puzzles.
Now I know you are probably thinking that he will speak Italian, and I will speak Spanish. How will that help anyone? Well, the great thing about the Tell Me More program is that each member of the family can create an individual account. We get to all learn Italian at our own individual paces and then we can practice together. So not only will my son benefit from this program, I get to learn as well, and even Dad can get in on the action!
This particular version of Tell Me More will be released to the general public in mid April. It will retail for $319.99. (That is MUCH less than other immersion programs on the market!) Watch the website for the official launch! You won’t want to miss out on this great product!
While we want to someday tour Italy together as a family, we realize that it just may not be possible for a while. So we have grand plans of learning our Italian and then when we are all comfortable, we will visit our favorite Italian restaurant,where we will speak Italian throughout the entire meal. I think that is a worthy goal, don’t you?