Learning a new language can be exciting. But shopping for the right assortment of language learning materials is a job, as is trying to discover the best language software. Some programs stress grammar and writing first, speaking and pronunciation second. Other programs focus on total, instant immersion.
Immersion has long been considered a superior learning technique. The best language software uses this method. Students begin constructing minimal sentences immediately. Situations are realistic and related to travel: sightseeing, shopping, socializing, etc. Exposure to pronunciation, grammar, and syntax encourages the student.
For ease and maximum reliability, language software is peerless. But check the shelves of any bookstore, or peruse online sellers, and one thing is clear: the best language software is hard to find among so many. With hundreds to choose from, how does one determine the best language software?
Finding Quality Language Software
Finding the best language software is as individual as one’s personal tastes in clothing and food. The best language software for one person may not necessarily be the best language software for another. Some people regard the best language software as one that employs a colloquial approach, teaching more down to earth language. Others regard the best language software as one featuring more formal speech for all kinds of scenarios.
For example: One wants to learn Spanish. But which form of it? Castilian Spanish? Mexican Spanish? Central American Spanish? Caribbean Spanish? All such language software exists and the best language software for Spanish depends upon the student’s needs, personal style.
Language Learning Software: Dialects
A student planning to spend time in Spain will not benefit so much from Caribbean Spanish language software, even if it is the best language software for Caribbean Spanish around. In places like Puerto Rico and Cuba, Spanish speaking diverges from Castilian Spanish in many ways: words are different entirely, or absent, and approaches to vowel and consonant pronunciation are unique to each place. The best language software for a student of Spanish is one that focuses on the nuanced Spanish spoken by the people who live in the region the student intends to visit.
However, there are a few general qualities shared by some of the best language software on the market. When shopping for the best language software, bear these qualities in mind, all of which are usually printed prominently on the software packaging:
- Text recited by native speakers
- Concise chapter units arranged by subject
- Subheadings in each chapter for in depth study
- Scene intros, dialog, and practice in each chapter
- Oral tests in which native speakers ask questions, pause, then recite correct answer for student
- Accompanying textbook/workbook and/or dictionary and phrase book
- Online lab for additional support and interactive media
- A parent website with access to software updates and forums for chatting with fellow users
If you are able to check more than half of these off a list, then the corresponding software is the best language software for you as a student.