The Learning Company Adds More Foreign Language CDs

Article excerpt

The Learning Company, a subsidiary of SoftKey International Inc., has released Practice Makes Perfect, the latest addition to its line of foreign language software. Available for Spanish, French, or German, Practice Makes Perfect helps build foreign language vocabulary and pronunciation skills. More than 2,300 words are included in each program, ranging from fundamental words to the more advanced. It is available now on CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh for an estimated retail price of $45.

The multimedia features in Practice Makes Perfect simplify learning a foreign language. For example, the program includes colorful photos that illustrate the words, recordings of native speakers, videos and diagrams that show proper tongue and lip placement, and numerous interactive learning activities that help increase users' memory of the language. Users also study the target language alphabet, learn to pronounce difficult letter combinations, and discover how target words are used in context in sentences. Practice Makes Perfect features sophisticated speech-recognition technology (available only in the Windows version) and record/playback features to improve users' language skills. As users' record their voices, play them back, and learn from their mistakes, they become more confident in their pronunciation and speaking abilities, the company claims.

Practice Makes Perfect requires an IBM or compatible or a Macintosh computer with a hard disk, 4 MB of RAM (8 MB recommended), and a CD-ROM drive. The Windows version requires a 386 DX/33 MHz processor or better (486 recommended), 256-color SVGA, MS-DOS or PC-DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher (including Windows 95), a Windows-compatible sound card, and microphone (optional, but recommended). The Macintosh version requires a 68040/25 MHz or better, 256-color monitor (13-inch or larger), System 7.1 or higher, and MacRecorder or microphone (optional, but recommended).

The Learning Company has also launched Berlitz Think & Talk 2.0, an update to its CD-ROM software for learning Spanish, French, German, or Italian. With a focus on building introductory conversation skills, Think & Talk is based on the proven Berlitz Method for learning foreign languages. This complete course immerses users in the foreign language, making learning a language a more natural process, the company says. The Berlitz Think & Talk CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh is available now for an estimated retail price of $119. …