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I found Living Language Italian: Platinum Edition to be an excellent tool to learn a foreign language. It easily allows one seriously desiring to master Italian a comprehensive system to do so in a very enjoyable way.
Pros: This is a complete program which includes beginner to advanced levels (1-10). It includes all the information needed in order to comprehend, speak, and write Italian. The program is geared towards diverse learning styles, ie. Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (I am including kinesthetic aspect due to the hands-on approach with filling out info. in workbooks and notebook).
On the computer, the program is similar to Rosetta Stone, except that it doesn't involve voice recognition software. This aspect is refreshing, in that I can actually involve my children in the learning process at the same time without throwing off the "system." It's also great not having to argue with my computer over an inability of my voice to register correctly, even when I KNOW I used the correct pronunciation.
Most of the computer format is in an advanced flash-card style with color photos and meanings. It allows you to see the English only when request and you can "skip" over information that you have already mastered instead of drowning in monotonous redundancy. Additionally, you experience (both audibly and visually) conversations in Italian at the end of each lesson as a review of what you've learned.
Audio CDs that correspond to each lesson are included in the program. This helps to further immerse oneself in Italian even while on the go. Therefore, I am able to take Italian with me in the car or while walking around town upon downloading on my MP3 player.
Additionally, there are three course books + notebook that are very well made.Read more ›
As a person who has learned a few languages, I'm quite finicky when it comes to reviewing language-based products. Having learned a language through college (I minored in Japanese) and studied Spanish, French, a little Mandarin and Korean and growing up and learning Tagalog and having tested several products since the '90s, and getting a feel of what works for me and what doesn't...
I am not an erudite when it comes to foreign languages but I hope I can help others who want to learn a language but also know what they are getting to as some of these learning language programs can be quite expensive.
So, let's go ahead and take a look at "Living Language Italian: Platinum Edition", a product that I spent a few months trying to see if it works.
Inside the "Living Language Italian: Platinum Edition" you get:
* 3 BOOKS: Broken down via Essential (Basic), Intermediate and Advanced. 46 lessons, additional review exercises, culture notes, an extensive glossary, and a grammar summary--plus a bonus notebook.
* 9 AUDIO CDS: Vocabulary, dialogues, audio exercises, and more--listen with the books or use foe review on the go.
* SMART PHONE AND TABLET COMPATIBLE APPS: Vocabulary flashcards, audio conversations, grammar notes, and interactive games all at your fingertips.
II. USING THE PRODUCT
When it comes to learning a language, for me, I feel the best approach is when you start out from the basics and you are provided with a workbook and possibly working with flash cards for better memorization. Some competitors would get you started with not greetings but actual pictures and words, without having any booklet for one to understand how these words are to be used in conversation.Read more ›
I bought this because I wanted to learn a new language without paying the high price Rosetta Stone goes for. I am very pleased with the product, my learning speed...and I havent even used all of its features.
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I just receicved this a week ago and I definitely like this course a lot. I've already had a basic foundation of the Italian language but this course is very helpful in getting the basics down more solidly and moving beyond what I already knew. The only caveat I have to point out is that the program content is a little redundant. In this day and age the CD's and books are superfluous especially given the fact that the on-line study course is exactly the same as what is featured in the books/CD's. The iphone app is a replica of the online version but that feature is actually neat because it allows for continual study even if a PC isn't nearby. Living Language should give customers an option as to whether they want the book/CD version of this course or the online/app version. I doubt I'll ever reference either CD or book as there simply is no need to given the online option and, lets face it, who really has a CD player anymore or keeps books around? I know many still do but for me, being forced to purchase the whole pack was a bit of a waste of money.
One last thing..and this I really don't like and they don't tell you about it in the advertisement. The online course is only valid for one year!! Yea it's in the fine print. So, if anyone ordering this doesn't get through the entire course in a year, good luck with getting your resources online. I think that's a bad move on the behalf of Living Language as it'll force people who don't get this information under their skull cap in a year will basically need to re-purchase the whole thing again....only to be stuck with 2 sets of books and CD's. This is even more annoying seeing as the online verison has fun games to help reinforce new material....something the books can't and don't offer.Read more ›
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