by Rosetta McLeod


Recently I attended a national conference on ‘The Micro and the Language Specialist’ which attracted delegates not only from Britain but also from other European countries. The conference certainly brought home to me the significant role that the microcomputer is now playing in the teaching of languages, from helping young children to read, to encouraging older pupils and adults to master a foreign language.

This month, then, Crash Course looks at two publishing houses who have produced programs concerned with language development. The English Language Tutors from Options International aim to teach the basics of the language to primary school children with language difficulties. The author, Edward Ingram, has a degree in Psychology and has had a great deal of teaching experience with children suffering from profound language disorders, such as aphasia and autism. The programs have been thoroughly field-tested in schools.

The Options range also includes three foreign language tutors — French, Spanish and German — which have been designed to help beginners learn the languages and also to provide a revision aid for exam students. The programs cost £8.95 each and come with a detailed information booklet.

AVP Computing, too, whose programs featured in July’s Crash Course, have also issued some interesting modern languages programs. I particularly enjoyed the French Crosswords program, and the Dictation package, combining the computer program with audio input, is a worthy study aid. These two programs cost £10.00 each, while the Time programs for French, German, or Spanish cost only £6.00 each.