Monday, June 20, 2005

SOS Language Programs

Not too long ago, we purchased the Switched On Schoolhouse Spanish 2004 Secondary Education program. This program necessitated beefing up our computer's memory, but once done, we were well pleased with the program. The lessons are interesting and move forward in a logical sequence. My daughter, age 13, and I (never having studied Spanish before) are moving forward at a reasonable pace. The format is similar to the use of a high school text with audio added in. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed a certain comfort level with it, as that is how I was taught French many years ago.

My younger daughter, now age 12, has been using Rosetta Stone French, but was seeing our Spanish progress and asked to use the French Secondary SOS program. I have been disappointed with it thus far. Using a more "mother tongue" approach whereby you learn the language by using it, it is disorganized and expects the user to pick up much of the language intuitively. While I understand this approach, I don't think it is well done in this program.

In addition, the program directs the user to a website that isn't working. While I could tolerate this if it was merely supplemental, this website is intended to be part of the lesson. Hopefully, the site is just down, but AOP Technical Support couldn't say. Having studied French for several years, I am able to work the lessons fairly quickly. I'll write more after my daughter has a shot at it.

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