Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Needs some explanation
on December 7, 2015
I have two main complaints with this software. First, getting the microphone set up was difficult. When you launch it for the first time, it launches in the browser. I eventually figured out you have the option to run it locally, too. Some combination of the web application, the browser, and OS made the microphone unusable on the web. Help documents were unhelpful. No problems when run locally.
Second is that the software has an "immersion, learn as you did your first language" type of strategy. Meaning that, like others have said, it's a bunch of flash cards paired with French words, with 0 explanations in English. The problem with this is that it begins quizzing you on rules you didn't know existed until you don't understand why you're wrong. Ex., French is a romance language, so nouns are masculine or feminine. Unlike Spanish, there is no easy way to know one way or the other. You have to look for "un or une" when you learn vocabulary. But by the time you are being quizzed on which one they are, you didn't know you were supposed to look out for that in previous lessons. Likewise, Il/elle est vs. c'est. Both mean "it is", but there are rules for one or the other. Which it doesn't tell you; you just have to figure it out. I suspect that when kids are learning their first language, which this software claims to mimic, at some point, some adult says "oh by the way, there's this masculine/feminine thing." I had to resort to Google, which I shouldn't have to do with software whose sole purpose is to learn a language. So at least a little blurb at the beginning of each lesson like "we're about to introduce you to ABC, look for XYZ to help figure it out!" would make this software about 60% better.