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Critical Languages Series

Critical Languages Series

Critical Languages Series CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs for Windows
Despite the fact that they are spoken by millions of people, languages such as Korean or Turkish are not usually offered in schools or colleges. The Critical Languages Program (CLP) at the University of Arizona was created to meet the need for interactive instruction in these less commonly taught languages. In order to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners who wish to gain proficiency in these languages, CLP has developed a series of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM courseware beginning with Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Kazakh, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Turkish.
$119     

Critical Languages Series  -   Features  -   System Requirements

Critical Languages Series

Despite the fact that they are spoken by millions of people, languages such as Korean or Turkish are not usually offered in schools or colleges. The Critical Languages Program (CLP) at the University of Arizona was created to meet the need for interactive instruction in these less commonly taught languages. In order to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners who wish to gain proficiency in these languages, CLP has developed a series of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM courseware beginning with Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Kazakh, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Turkish.

Each classroom tested package contains 20 lessons for the beginning learner comprised of video dialogues and readings by native speakers, thousands of audio recordings, graphics, and extensive notes. Handy browser features enable users to easily review words and pronunciations, and to access five types of exercises - multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, audio flashcard, pronunciation, and listening dictation - which enable users to test and improve their knowledge of each lesson. Learners with microphone-equipped computers can record and play back their own voices, then compare their pronunciation with that of the native speaker.

With the click of a button, learners can hear native speakers pronounce words or phrases, facilitating quick comprehension of these challenging languages. Each instructional package contains the equivalent of a textbook and workbook with audio and video components, making it practical for either self-instructional or directed educational, government, and business purposes.

Each multimedia CD-ROM or DVD-ROM package is the equivalent of a full textbook and workbook and includes:

  • 20 lessons with up to 45 dialogs and readings
  • Up to 10,000 native speaker audio recordings
  • 45 video dialogues and readings by native speaker
  • A variety of interactive exercises, audio phonetics training, graphics, and extensive grammatical and cultural notes.

Features

MaxBrowser is a program that lets you:

  • Browse through text with grammatical or cultural footnotes attached. Some footnotes may lead to other lessons, graphics, or video.
  • Listen to native pronunciations of words and sentences.
  • Record your own voice and compare to the native pronunciation.
  • Gain further insight into the material by the completion of exercises.
The current audio language is shown at the bottom of the screen, and can be changed using the Audio...Language menu choice. The menu buttons Word and Sent select either the words or the sentences of the lesson to play. MAX treats lesson text as a collection of words and sentences. There are separate audio recordings for both sentences and words to let you hear the contextual differences between words spoken in isolation, and words spoken in sentential context. You can press W or S to quickly switch between Word and Sent.

Screen Shots


Critical Languages Series
MaxBrowser

Contextual Audio Flashcard Exercise
For each lesson, this self-evaluative exercise helps you improve your vocabulary by displaying a deck of visual/aural flash cards. These words are taken directly from the lesson text you have been studying. As each word from the lesson is shown and played, your task is to try to remember of the meaning of the word. When you feel you know the word well enough, the flashcard can be 'discarded' so the word will not appear again. The Remaining and Discarded decks are shown graphically, giving you a feel for your progress. When a word appears that you do not know the meaning of, you can use some of the clues provided to jog your memory:

  • ShowExample: shows you an example of the word used in context.
  • Sentence: plays the sentence that the word is a part of.
  • Sentence Translation: plays the translation of the sentence that the word is part of.
  • Translation: when you give up, plays the translation of the current word.

Critical Languages Series
Flashcards

Listening Dictation Exercise
For each lesson, the instructor designates sentences for you to listen to and then type in what you hear. A score is kept to let you know how well you are doing, and you are given immediate feedback on the correctness of your answer with marks that show where mistakes were made. While trying to complete the sentence, you can relisten to it and also listen to it 'word by word' or 'slowly word by word'. You can also print out a transcription of your answers which can be given to your instructor to show your progress.

Critical Languages Series
Listening Dictation

Multiple Choice Exercise
For each lesson, the multiple choice exercise asks questions about a target word or phrase in the lesson text you have been studying. A score is kept to let you know how well you are doing. Simply double click on a choice, and you are given immediate feedback on the correctness of your answer. Once you have completed all of the multiple choice questions, you will be given an opportunity to try again to correctly answer the questions you missed. This process continues until you get them all correct. You can always click on a word or sentence to hear it spoken. When you have answered the last multiple choice question correctly, you can repeat the exercise by clicking on Begin Over, or quit the exercise. You can also print out a transcription of your answers which can be given to your instructor to show your progress.

Critical Languages Series
Multiple Choice

Pronunciation Exercise
The pronunciation exercise is designed to help students improve pronunciation of words and sentences. This exercise mimics one of the techniques instructors commonly use to improve a student's pronunciation. It first plays the native speaker's voice, and then prompts you to say the same thing (while the appropriate text is being highlighted). You record each word sequentially, and then the whole sentence. After the recordings are completed, the native speakerís voice and the student's voice are played "back-to-back" so the student can compare them. You do not have to press any keys during this process, as the length of time of recording for each word is automatically determined by the length of the native speaker's recording. The text that you are working with is exactly the same lesson text you've seen before in MaxBrowser, Multiple Choice, Dictation, Vocabulary Completion, and Flashcards.

Critical Languages Series
Pronunciation

Vocabulary Completion (Cloze) Exercise
For each lesson, the vocabulary completion (also called Cloze) exercise asks you to fill-in-the-blanks. The blanks may be words or simply a few characters. For some blanks, the student types in an answer and for others, the student selects from a list of choices. When you are finished filling in the blanks, you are shown the correct answers along with your score.

Cloze test performance has proven to be a reliable measure of language ability, which has led to its acceptance in language proficiency certification. The value of the Cloze exercise is that the student must use the context of the entire passage to make the correct selections. In this way the student is thinking in the target language as the lesson is being carried out. The text that you are working with is exactly the same lesson text you've seen before in MaxBrowser, Multiple Choice, Dictation, Pronunciation, and Flashcards. Your previous experience with the text provides additional clues in filling in the blanks. You can also print out a transcription of your answers which can be given to your instructor to show your progress.

Critical Languages Series
Vocabulary Completion

System Requirements

Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP; 2x CD-ROM drive; 16MB RAM; 9MB hard drive space; Microphone recommended.