Interactive language learning marches on into the world of DVD-Rom with its high capacity and potential for lots of video. Eurotalk's Advanced language series brings English teaching from British living rooms into the salles de sejour and Wohnzimmer of Europe in the form of Carlton Television's detective series Inspector Morse (above).
Based on the fundamental language learning principles of listening and repeating, Morse leads English learners into new roles as cast members. The idea is familiar: listen to a clip, repeat the lines, record yourself and play back your own recording. On DVD this means learners record either individual lines or whole scenes, replay them and watch and listen to their own voices dubbed on screen. It's a whole new fun interactive experience and will happily find a place in the home, school library and even higher education.
The language of the script is fast and colloquial - "been burning the midnight oil quite a lot recently then?" - with strong accents, but still offers new challenges to enthusiastic learners. Highlighted lines or sections of script can be viewed on screen to give written support which is often essential for catching all the language.
A comprehensive "activities" section is included. Anticipating the next line of script is difficult and presupposes a confident command of English, a good understanding of the storyline and a sharp insight into individual characters. Learners are rewarded with a replay of the scriped line for comparison and repetition.
Moving from salle de sejour back to living room The European language equivalents dip into popular television from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. For French learners, Morse transforms into episodes of the series Au Coeur de la Loi. The script comes fast and furious and many learners will come to rely on the rewind button and scripted text before recording rapidly delivered lines. In the mot perdu section, learners could be encouraged to pay attention to the syntax of the written sentence on screen while listening and trying to identify the missing word from rapid rate French.
With the Advanced language series, Eurotalk is combining linguistic challenge with real life in Europe using that most comfortable of media forms. It is lively, initially daunting, ultimately productive and an enjoyable language learning experience.
EuroTalk's DVD titles (Mac and PC) include the following:
Advanced English with Inspector Morse Advanced French with Au Coeur De La Loi Advanced Italian with Mio Padre Innocente Advanced Spanish with Querido Maestro Advanced German with Ein Fall Fur Zwei Price: pound;34.99 each (including VAT)
The following CD-Roms are also available from EuroTalk: Talk Now! for beginners Price:pound;24.99
World Talk intermediate Price:pound;29.99 Asterix advanced Price:pound;29.99
Online star rating:DVD titles
Suitability for purpose **** Ease of use ***** Value for money ****