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Teaching a foreign language is another area where homeschoolers can get very stressed in anticipation! We were given the opportunity of choosing which language option we’d like as part of the TOS Crew for Auralog Tell Me More, and my 11 yo insisted Spanish was what he wanted. I’d been seeing advertisements everywhere for this program, so we were quite excited to get a hands-on look!
Tell Me More is designed to cover four years worth of study, all in one program! The package consists of one CD-rom and a headset w/phones and a microphone to enable you to use the voice-recognition technology–very cool! When you first purchase the program you have the first 5 sections unlocked, and then you can contact the company to find out how to purchase the second half, which is already embedded in the program. Quite an impressive set of information–5,000 lessons, altogether!
The Tell Me More program utilizes the "immersion method," meaning that your student is talked to in Spanish (or whatever you choose!) and has to figure out what’s being said. I love the idea of this, but was reminded by another Crew member that while that may be the way we all learned English, it’s not necessarily the simplest way for *everyone* to learn a second language. Concrete learners may prefer a more straightforward, list-of-nouns-and-verbs approach (believe it or not!) My own son has spent several months in Brazil and has picked up many, many words but is still cramming Portuguese with another program before he returns this summer for a lengthy stay.
We found it incredibly simple to install (one CD–come on!) And there are several options to choose from as far as the actual using of the program goes–free to roam, which means the student can choose whichever activities they’d like; guided (recommended for beginners) in which the program directs the student along in a prescribed way, or dynamic, which uses a special new technology to evaluate progress as the student works to adjust their lessons and activities according to their abilities.
I think this is a great program. You can create multiple accounts and use it with everyone in your family. The voice recognition and features that show your growing ability are really cool! I’ll be honest and tell you that it’s not terribly attractive to my middle schooler–the interface is a bit "adult"-looking. Of course if you’re using it with a high school aged student, that’s a benefit. It can be confusing trying to find all the cool features; anticipate spending awhile finding your way around this program! Once you do, however, I really think you’ll like it. And when you look at the cost, remember that this is like having 2 years of a personal tutor–for anyone in your family who wants to use it!–with the option to unlock another 2 years. The price on that option has not yet been determined, but I’m sure it will be soon.
From the website . . .
Why Homeschoolers Are Choosing the TELL ME MORE® Homeschool Version:
Twice the content of other solutions!
Create accounts for the whole family.
More than 4 years of language learning per package.
Learn reading and writing, listening and speaking, grammar, culture, vocabulary…
Unique features for homeschoolers: activity guide, student tracking
Access to the content of TELL ME MORE® with and without the solutions, so parents can create their own workbooks…
Advanced speech recognition technology to help your homeschooler improve their pronunciation
I think it’s good that this program covers reading and writing in the new language, as that’s an area the other interactive computer programs haven’t incorporated yet (as far as I know.) It’s also neat that the parent can create workbooks for their students! You can purchase Tell Me More in Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, and English for Children. The program is on sale right now, and costs $249.95 at its release in mid-April.
Check it out for yourself at . . .