by Jeffrey Gavin

SUBJECT AREA: Development of English language proficiency.

PUBLISHER: Hartley, Inc.
(800) 247-1380

COST: $79.00 list price (each)


APPROPRIATE FOR: Students learning English and/or life skills.

REQUIRED HARDWARE: Mac LC, 12" color monitor, CD-ROM drive, 4MB of memory (5MB recommended), System 7. An IBM Windows version is also available

OPTIONAL HARDWARE: Microphone (required for voice recording capability), printer.

EDUCATIONAL GOALS: To help students become proficient in the English language while becoming familiar with American home and community activities. Theme vocabulary and language construction is learned through activities that allow practice in specific contextual situations.

DESCRIPTION: Two CDs provide 13 situational learning activities.

1. "It's The Weekend": Provides a conversation describing weekend activities.
2. "Who is Uncle Roberto?": Provides practice in choosing and describing facial features.
3. "Moving In": Describes rooms and furnishings in a house through a moving exercise.
4. "Saturday at the Brisco House": Describes household cleaning activities and chores.
5. "Welcome to Burger World": Simulates the experience of working in a fast food restaurant, including dealing with money exchanges.
6. "What's for Dinner?": Gives options for making dinner choices.
7. "Stop and Shop": Simulates a trip to the supermarket, using a grocery list.

1. "The Money Machine": Provides simulated practice using an Automated Teller Machine.
2. "An Expensive Day": A conversation among family members leads to plans for a trip to the mall and movies.
3. "Meet You at the Mall": Provides a simulated shopping trip to the mall with choosing stores, exchanging money, selecting a movie, and purchasing tickets.
4. "Extra! Extra! Read All About It": Provides practice reading articles for content to match the appropriate headlines and photos.
5. "A Quiet Afternoon In Cornerstone?": Gives a picture of the buildings and people in the community.
6. "Search For The Missing Map": Teaches about the different sections of the library.

STRENGTHS: The activities in this program provide stimulating situations for practice in becoming more familiar with conversational English. The graphics and auditory feedback are motivating and reinforcing. These features make the program accessible to poor and non-readers. The activities are untimed and can accomodate a wide range of levels.
A student monitoring system is a nice built-in feature.

WEAKNESSES: Some of the activities may take too long time for lower functioning students to complete. While younger children can benefit from hearing conversations and seeing situations, the activities themselves are geared more to older students.

SUMMARY: Learning English provides realistic situations and conversations in which students can become more proficient in the English language. The program is appropriate for students in a life skills curriculum.

Jeffrey Gavin is a graduate student in the Special Education Department at Trenton State College.

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